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iPass: Mobile Professionals Say WiFi Is More Essential than Sex


iPass Inc., a provider of global mobile connectivity, revealed the results of The iPass Mobile Professional Report 2016. iPass surveyed more than 1,700 mobile professionals worldwide about their connectivity habits and preferences, highlighting the ever-increasing influence of WiFi.
Key findings include:

  • 40% of respondents chose WiFi as their number one daily essential, designating it as a higher priority than sex (37 percent), chocolate (14 percent) and alcohol (9 percent)
  • 75% of respondents said that WiFi has improved their quality of life
  • 63% of respondents prefer using WiFi hotspots over mobile data
  • 75% of respondents said data is more important than minutes when choosing a cellular contract

Mobile professionals expect to remain connected at all times, whether at home, travelling between client meetings, at their hotel or even inflight, iPass said. They all want WiFi because of faster speeds, lower prices and the better user experience it affords. And with the population of global mobile workers standing well over one billion, employers should be prepared to meet the demands of their employees, by providing them with the connectivity they desire.
For mobile professionals who don’t want to be stung by data bills or exorbitant roaming charges, WiFi has become a travel essential, influencing hotel, airport and other travel choices.

  • 72% of respondents have chosen a hotel based on the WiFi experience, with 21 percent saying they do so all the time.
  • 35% stated the WiFi experience has influenced their choice of airline.
  • 72% use free WiFi at airports if it is available.
  • 73% of respondents have never paid for airport WiFi for professional use, and this number rises to 78% for personal use.

The survey also highlights the extent to which mobile security remains the biggest obstacle to the use of free Wi-Fi and illustrates the difficulties companies have enforcing safe mobile use policies:

  • One in two mobile professionals stated their company allows them to use a personal device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) to access corporate data/systems via public or remote WiFi.
  • 66% of mobile professionals said they were worried about data security when using free WiFi hotspots.
  • However, 42% will still access company data using public WiFi.
  • 38% of respondents have never used a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect their data.
  • Only 9% list corporate data loss as one of their main fears if their device were to be lost or stolen. By comparison, six times as many respondents were likely to be worried about losing contact information (57%) and almost half (49%) feared losing their photos.

Based on employee responses, the priorities of companies and their employees seem to be worlds apart. Employees have vast troves of valuable data on their smartphones, but are considerably less concerned about losing sensitive corporate data than they are about losing their personal information, iPass said. Companies still need to do a lot more to educate their employees regarding mobile security risks and provide robust safe usage guidelines. In this WiFi first world, mobile professionals need to be equipped with the tools they need to remain productive wherever they are, while ensuring the use of public WiFi doesn’t expose their corporate data to ever-growing security risks.
This report is based on information obtained from more than 1,700 respondents to an iPass survey of mobile professionals. Survey respondents were asked about their connectivity habits, preferences and expectations, and were asked to provide opinions about their level of dependence on mobile connectivity.
The survey was conducted between August 12 and August 31, fielding responses from mobile professionals across multiple age groups and geographies. Sixty percent of respondents came from North America, and 40 percent were from European countries. Responses were examined by region, age range and gender. 

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