Smartphone Users Worried About Hotspots?

— February 08, 2013

According to a new uSamp survey of more than 700 mobile consumers in the United States, 62% of smartphone users leverage their devices’ hotspot capabilities, an increase of 9% since May 2012. Despite the increase in adoption, many consumers are still concerned about the cost, usability and lack of plan options available with hotspots.


Commissioned by wireless and mobility solutions provider Smith Micro Software, Inc., the survey showed that more than 25% do not pay a carrier for hotspot service. Instead, smartphone users employ over-the-top applications to access this feature.

For nearly one-third of respondents who do not use any form of personal hotspot, privacy concerns (27%) and the desire to avoid another wireless contract (21%) were major contributors to non-usage.

Usability and features were examined for two groups: frequent and occasional hotspot users. Both groups listed expense, battery life and limited plan options as their top concerns, but infrequent hotspot users also cited preferences in these areas:
  • 54% want easier, one-step access to connect a device to a personal hotspot
  • 49% want self-care diagnostics to help debug connectivity issues
  • 43% prefer ad-sponsored hotspot service, even if usage limits were applied 
Other results from the survey reveal concerns varied significantly between professional users (devices and hotspot service paid by employer) versus recreational users. For example, 59% of professional users are concerned with hotspot performance, whereas only 16% of recreational smartphone users cited performance as a concern.

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