By Dennis Jones
Choices, choices, choices. Our world is all about choices. And for mobile professionals, there sure are a lot of them, like what connectivity method to use outside of the office: Wi-Fi or cellular? Do mobile professionals show a distinct preference for one over the other? Well, it turns out they do and by a lot. Nearly two-thirds of mobile professionals would prefer to connect to Wi-Fi over using their cellular data. That’s not too surprising, after all Wi-Fi tends to be cheaper, faster and offer a better user experience for the kind of data-intensive activities mobile professionals need to routinely perform. But it still makes you think, how much do people love Wi-Fi? Do they just default to it in lieu of cellular, or does Wi-Fi make a tangible difference in their lives? Boy, does it.
Wi-Fi has actually become an essential part of our daily lives, displacing other human luxuries in importance. I’m not exaggerating, here, a whopping 40 percent of mobile professionals said that Wi-Fi is more important than sex, alcohol or chocolate. Just let that sink in.
Wi-Fi also has a significant effect on the real-world actions we take as consumers, like the hotels we book, the flights we take, the destinations we visit. We’ve come to expect being connected at home and at work; and now we’re demanding to be connected everywhere in between. For instance, 72 percent of people make Wi-Fi-based hotel choices, while 21 percent say they always choose their hotel based on the quality of the Wi-Fi. And the same goes for air travel. People need to be connected, even at 30,000 feet, so inflight Wi-Fi has become a serious selling point for airlines.
With all that connecting, is Wi-Fi ruining our lives, like the luddites and doom and gloomers contend? Well, no, a resounding no. Seventy-five percent of mobile professionals think Wi-Fi has improved their lives. Why? A few reasons, actually. Wi-Fi allows us to work from anywhere, which has been showed to improve workplace satisfaction. And it makes the commute between work locations much more pleasant, now that we can download and stream the content we love, without worrying about data caps.
You might be wondering how we know all of this, and why you’re just finding out. Well, we’re not the FBI, but we do make it our business to know as much as possible about mobile professionals: how, where, when and why they connect. Recently, we took our queries one step forward, conducting a survey to get to know mobile professionals even better and learn more about their connectivity habits, preferences and expectations. We polled a diverse mobile professional population in North America and Europe. All of our findings went into the iPass Mobile Professional Report 2016, so if any of this information leaves you wanting to more, feel free to download the paper on our website.