A new study has ranked the UK third in a list of countries based on the number of wi-fi hotspots they have.
It follows behind the US in second place and France in first, which has been dubbed “country of wi-fi” for having the most hotspots in total.
The research, published by commercial network provider iPass, claims that by 2018, the USA will have the most hotspots, following by China and then France, ousting the UK from the top three entirely.
According to the iPass study, Europe is the “continent of wi-fi,” account for 50% of the world’s wi-fi estate this year.
However, by 2018, it predicts that Asia will strip Europe of this title.
When it comes to commercial wi-fi hotspots, China has five times more of these than any other country surveyed.
The research also claims that community wi-fi is driven by Europe and North America, but Asia will catch up in 2018.
It says 22.7 million wi-fi hotspots are enabled for roaming between different provider networks today and expects this number to rise to 289.3 million in 2018.
“Over the last few years we’ve seen the emergence of the ‘wi-fi first’ generation. Wi-fi has become cool again; in fact it’s seen by most as an essential utility, just like water or electricity,” claimed iPass CEO Evan Kaplan.
“Most of the devices we use are wi-fi only and even on the most advanced 4G handsets, 78% of the data goes over wi-fi.
“Simply put, it’s the network of choice for consumers and soon they’ll be able to roam this alternative network of millions of hotspots,” he added.
The study also predicts a rise in the number wi-fi hotspots available on public transport, claiming 60% of places and 11% of trains will offer access by 2018.
In 2014, just 16% of planes and 3% of trains offer wi-fi access.