Market research agency Reportlinker said the main growth factors include boom in portable devices such as smart phones and tablets and increased number of internet users.
Lack of security during the usage of Wi-Fi, which results in theft of personal data, is restraining the growth of Wi-Fi hotspot market.
Speed and service quality of Wi-Fi are the key challenges faced by the vendors. Wi-Fi represents a good opportunity for fixed-line operators to join in the mobile broadband field, the report said on Wednesday.
Research company Maravedis-Rethink recently said that 57 percent of telecom network operators have firm timelines in place for the deployment of Carrier-Grade Wi-Fi network. By 2020, 80 percent of respondents plan to have deployments in the areas of IoT / M2M, and more than half already have plans for Converged Services and Smart Cities.
“Within 5 years there will be as much as a 70 percent rise in the number of Carrier-grade public Wi-Fi hotspots deployed,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
Telecom research agency ABI Research recently said mobile operators are increasingly relying on Wi-Fi networks. Out of the massive global Wi-Fi coverage in 2020, at least 6 million public locations will support Hotspot 2.0 features.
France currently has the most hotspots, followed by the US and UK. While Europe currently has the densest Wi-Fi coverage, Asia is set to overtake it by 2018, Reportlinker said.
Public Wi-Fi is expected to witness high growth rising to more than 300 million in 2018 and taking Wi-Fi from the cities to the suburbs. Wi-Fi on transport is poised to grow rapidly during 2014 – 2022.
More than half of the commercial hotspots are controlled by players whose primary business is not telecom. Over the next few years, global hotspot numbers will reach more than 350 million, which is equivalent to one Wi-Fi hotspot for every 18 individuals on earth.
The key telecom network vendors in the Wi-Fi hotspot market include Ubiquiti Networks, Ruckus Wireless, Netgear, Motorola Solutions, HP, Ericsson, Cisco Systems, Aruba Networks, Alcatel-Lucent and Aerohive Networks.