Ruckus Networks survey says majority of HK businesses will refresh their Wi-Fi network in the next 12 months
Respondents say Wi-Fi is a must-have and downtime causes business loss
Hong Kong, 4 October 2018 – In a survey by Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, 76% of Hong Kong enterprises said they intend to upgrade their Wi-Fi equipment in the next 12 months. This is to meet demands for enhanced Wi-Fi security, improve the overall user experience and provide a stable, high-speed connection due to the rise in multimedia content.
An equipment overhaul is long due in many businesses as 35% said they estimated HK$400,000 per year - HK$32,000 every hour - was lost annually due to connectivity downtime with an estimated of downtime.
This is according to the Ruckus Networks first Asia Pacific State of Wi-Fi Study that surveyed 1,200 business and IT leaders in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan to identify Wi-Fi usage trends and expectations. Respondents ranged from mid- to large-sized organizations and are in decision-making or implementation roles for IT-related initiatives.
From a corporate perspective, implementing Wi-Fi in the workplace meant better productivity (74 percent), flexibility (55 percent), and improved collaboration (44 percent). Yet over half (51 percent) had experienced at least six instances of connectivity downtime, and nine percent indicating they had over 20 instances in the last twelve months. Half of all businesses said a bad Wi-Fi experience can negatively impact a brand image.
“Wi-Fi is relied upon to deliver multimedia content to a proliferation of connected devices to enable a connected global economy,” said Linda Hui, Managing Director, Ruckus Networks, Hong Kong and Taiwan. “If IT departments need to spend considerable time in fixing Wi-Fi issues, this puts severe pressure on the organization to digitally transform, reduce operational costs and places a hinderance on the ability to deliver new innovative products, services and revenue models.”
The Ruckus Networks Asia Pacific State of Wi-Fi Study had some questions relating to Smart City; especially of interest as the HKSAR Government is moving forward into transforming Hong Kong into a Smart City.
When asked about the top three expectations from such an initiative, 43 percent said improving quality of life through smarter infrastructure e.g. smart parking, smart dustbins etc. This was followed by 39 percent wanting the digital divide bridged by providing free public Wi-Fi and internet access. Third place (32 percent) was tied between efficient use of resources, boosting business, and better understanding and planning citizen requirements through location analytics.
Wi-Fi Security Cause for Concern
Rating the current state of Wi-Fi security in their organizations, 47 percent said it was good or very good as compared to 53 percent across Asia Pacific. However, 61 percent said they only used basic usernames and passwords to provide Wi-Fi access. 16 percent indicated that they have an open Wi-Fi network with no secure log-in measures.
In contradiction, 89 percent of respondents indicated an insecure connection over a public hotspot was a key concern. This means there is a higher security awareness about public Wi-Fi accessibility when compared to the workplace and home environments.
Hong Kong businesses suffered losses of over HK$37 million (US$4.8 million) in total over the past year due to Wi-Fi downtime. Apart from monetary losses, 48 percent of Hong Kong respondents said their IT departments needed to spend about a week or more each month to manage Wi-Fi or network-related issues.
Public Wi-Fi Dampens Accessibility
Demonstrating how ingrained Wi-Fi has become in Hong Kong society, over half (51 percent) of respondents said they carry at least four Wi-Fi enabled devices such as smartphones, smart watches, laptops, and tablets.
Yet the respondents voiced concerns about the Wi-Fi service offered in public places with eight out of ten (81 percent) saying slow Wi-Fi connection speeds top their list of concerns with connection drops and limited coverage area close behind. Only about a quarter (24 percent) said they had enjoyed a good or very good experience using public Wi-Fi.
“Today, Hong Kong people expect a seamless, reliable and fast Wi-Fi experience and accessibility whether at home, at work, on the move or at a public venue. When there is a connectivity issue or other disruption to the Wi-Fi experience, this dampens accessibility by throttling the ability to work anywhere, at any time with productivity taking a hit,” added Hui.
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