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March 2013 iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report Examines Current Wi-Fi Challenges

BYOD Trend: Employees Are Using Personal Smartphones For Work

The Q1 2013 Global iPass Mobile Workforce Report examines the evolution of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the hurdles to Wi-Fi connectivity. Mobile device choices are proliferating, and the latest corporate BYOD trend is to develop new connectivity strategies. Therefore, the mobile worker should be more productive than ever before, but that is often not the case. Our research shows that while mobile workers are leveraging a variety of mobile devices, current Wi-Fi challenges and data limits are affecting productivity.

At places such as hotels (40 percent), airports (44 percent) and airplanes (44 percent), where strong Wi-Fi connectivity might be assumed, there are significant Wi-Fi challenges present. Mobile workers are worried about mobile Internet data limits and high Wi-Fi “day pass” charges, which limit their productivity when it is most critical.

How concerned should corporate executives and IT managers be? To what extent are connectivity issues thwarting worker productivity?

Cellular networks offer constant access but impose data limits and high costs. A number of mobile workers are limiting their 3G/4G data use due to plan limitations. An even higher percentage of respondents said they would curtail their data usage if mobile Internet prices continue to rise. This can be a catastrophic issue to the international mobile worker looking for a global wireless network.

The growing appetite for mobile data is compounding the connectivity problems mobile workers continue to face. The biggest Wi-Fi challenge is access, followed by high single-use fees. With cellular networks, the main obstacle is cost. Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous, but the majority of mobile workers report having trouble locating and connecting to a hotspot at least once a week.


The corporate BYOD trend of allowing employees to work using personal devices continues to grow. Sixty-two percent of workers say they are already using personal smartphones for work. Seventy-two percent believe their personal devices should be enabled for work purposes.


Consistent with this BYOD trend, the report suggests there is growing diversity in the types of devices that mobile workers are choosing to use. As the evolution of BYOD occurs, the device of choice has changed. In 2012 laptops were the preferred device for mobile workers. Now the device of choice is the iPhone.


This quarter’s iPass Mobile Workforce Report asks mobile workers about their work habits. Read the full report to learn more about global workforce BYOD preferences and connectivity challenges


Other highlights from the Q1 2013 Mobile Workforce Report include:

- Executive Summary

- Introduction

- Current Wi-Fi Challenges

- Evolution of BYOD

- Mobile Workers Lighten Their Load

- BYOD Trend: One Device to Rule Them All

- Mobile Data: Productivity Satisfaction

- Mobile Global Workforce Conclusion

- Survey Methodology


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In this report

  • Introduction
  • Section 1: Wi-Fi: Growth is Not Without Challenges
  • Section 2: Evolution of BYOD
  • Section 3: Mobile Workers Lighten Their Load
  • Section 4: One Device to Rule Them All
  • Section 5: Mobile Data: Productivity Satisfaction
  • Conclusion
  • Survey Methodology