Skip to main content

UK businesses shun consumer-facing Wi-Fi despite its obvious importance

Wi-Fi connectivity levels across the UK is dropping at an alarming rate despite Oxford Street being hailed as the most “connected” street on the planet just 12 months ago.

Research from Devicescape found that customer-facing organisations across the UK have fallen behind the rest of the globe when it comes to offering free Wi-Fi to customers.

“There’s a stunning misperception that amenity Wi-Fi is of poor quality,” said Devicescape CEO Dave Fraser. “This study shows what we’ve known for a long time - amenity Wi-Fi is becoming the norm for small businesses and the service provided is typically fast and high-quality. It is a powerful platform for mobile connectivity and offers up tremendous benefit for both enterprises and consumers.”

The figures show that just 15 per cent of customer facing organisations such as banks, coffee shops, and libraries, offer amenity Wi-Fi in the UK, which is far behind the North American average figure of 34 per cent thus flying in the face of Oxford Street’s global leading position.

Related: Report: UK faces Wi-Fi and mobile ‘spectrum crunch’ by 2020

Over three quarters [77 per cent] of those that responded to the survey said that customer-facing Wi-Fi is “important” to their business with 36 per cent adding that it is “very important” to business, many adding that it is a competitive requirement.

Even though many customer-facing organisations aren’t offering free Wi-Fi as a service, there is data that shows the demand for Wi-Fi will grow so much over the coming years that by 2020 it will be overloaded.

Figures from Real Wireless showed that if the issue is not confronted it will cause a “spectrum crunch” and 350MHz more of Wi-Fi is required to stop that from happening.

Image Credit: Flickr (byronv2)