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Issue of October 2003 

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Survey reveals wireless computing is on the rise

Wireless computing is yet to take off in India because there aren't enough 'hotspots' yet. But more hotspots (places where people can tap into a wireless Internet connection with their laptops and handheld devices), are springing up in public areas like cafes, hotels, and airports. Today, there are approximately 20,000 hotspots worldwide, a number expected to grow six-fold by 2005.

According to an international survey of business travelers, 71 percent of 'road warriors' are convinced that Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) will enable business travelers to seize a communications advantage over their competition. While only one in ten road warriors has tried Wi-Fi, nearly 90 percent see the use of wireless computing in their future. A third of Asian road warriors said they plan to try Wi-Fi within the next three to six months.

The survey was conducted by Intel Corporation and conducted under the direction of The Brain Group, an international research and strategy agency.

The survey also revealed that being without Internet access while traveling puts businesspeople in an awkward position with bosses, co-workers, and customers who have become accustomed to prompt e-mail responses. When working in office, 31 percent of road warriors reply to e-mail within an hour. When road warriors are traveling, only seven percent respond within that same timeframe.

Thirty percent of road warriors do not respond to e-mail for 48 hours or more while on a business trip. One-third of the survey respondents said they have suffered significant consequences, like missed meetings, lost revenue, irate customers, disappointed family members, and even job termination as a result of not having timely access to the Internet while on the road.

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