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Trustive, Low-cost, International WiFi Access

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Trustive's Annual Report 2009 - Customer Survey Results

Trustive’s annual customer survey, run this summer in partnership with Stoke Inc, (www.stoke.com),
represents the opinions of a sample of Trustive’s customer base, which consists of 8000+ frequent travellers.  

  • User profile

The opinions of 36 nationalities are represented in this year’s survey, including Trustive’s traditional European strongholds like the UK, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as respondents from further afield like the USA, Afghanistan, Brasil, India and Uruguay.

The profile of respondents remains predominantly male (86%), aged 35 and over and either self-employed or owners of SMEs (35%), with managers and executives next in line (26%).  These users typically spend between 10% and 40% of their time on the road and a significant proportion of this time is spent on international trips.

73% of respondents stated that they are responsible for paying for their WiFi access, not their employer/company.

  • WiFi usage

With just over half of all respondents confirming that they’ve been unpleasantly surprised by a mobile phone bill upon return form an overseas trip, each respondent possessing an average of 4 WiFi enabled devices and an overwhelming 64% of respondents confirming that they do rely on WiFi for data roaming when they travel internationally (in order to avoid the complicated and exorbitant costs associated with 3G roaming packages), it is clear that the importance of WiFi for the modern frequent traveller cannot be underestimated.

A comparison of the 2008 and 2009 results on WiFi usage shows that a real shift is taking place. With the availability of broadband internet in an ever growing number of households, travellers are expecting similar capabilities and a comparable user experience from mobile internet. High-speed WiFi access meets these high user expectations, enabling travellers equipped with smartphones (e.g. iPhone) and other WiFi enabled devices like the iPod Touch to use IM (instant messaging) services and VoIP (voice over internet) for their international communications as well as to exchange photos, watch TV and video clips and visit their favourite social networking websites like facebook.

In terms of the most popular location types, hotels and airports are the most frequented hotspots for Trustive customers, accounting for an average of 56% and 10% (respectively) of Trustive’s WiFi sessions. Connection times do vary greatly however, with customers logging on for an average of 2 hours at hotels compared to just 20-40 minutes at airports.

86% of survey respondents stated that price was a critical factor for them when choosing a WiFi access provider and 42% of users plan their WiFi access in advance in order to ensure that they get the best possible value for money.

 

  • Moving away from the ‘Always on’ culture towards the network centric culture

39% of respondents admit to being ‘always on’, contactable 24/7 and a further 3% have this ‘always on’ condition enforced on them by employers during working hours. The vast majority (58%), however, choose when they want to be ‘on’ and flag their availability to contacts only when it is convenient to them.

The fact that 50% of respondents consider it impolite to check messages on PDAs during meetings reinforces this shift away from the ‘always on’ culture and the growing mistrust of anyone who still chooses to be immediately available to anyone at anytime.  Checking in regularly is viewed as preferable and is perhaps seen as indicative of being more in control of one’s time.

The notebook centric shift is illustrated by the 35% travellers who carry their files whenever travelling, compared to 65% who access the network whenever they need anything.

  • The future of data roaming in Europe

52% of respondents have already had the nasty surprise of an exorbitant mobile phone bill upon their return from a trip abroad so one would expect the issue of 3G charges to be a real priority for users.  However, of those users affected by new European legislation that was introduced on 1st July 2009 to cap international roaming charges, an astonishing 32% have not heard of this legislation and a further 17% have heard of it but don’t understand its implications (see appendix 1 for a résumé of the implications of this legislation).

  • About Trustive

Trustive is Europe’s N° 1 WiFi access provider, with a growing international presence thanks to a WiFi hotspot network comprising 90,000 premium locations across 65+ countries.

Trustive’s key goal is to provide travellers with seamless, secure and low-cost access to mobile internet. At Trustive, we believe that customers should not have to wade through reams of paperwork or master complicated mathematical algorithms in order to decipher their monthly invoices or understand their mobile operator’s various tariff schemes.

That’s why all of our WiFi passes include no hidden costs and no download quotas; just a simple per minute price (from just 0.02 Euros/minute for subscription accounts and 0.04 Euros/minute for prepaid accounts) that users can understand from the outset.

Customers can also take advantage of our WiFi client to detect Trustive hotspots and automate access via their Windows XP & Vista laptops, MacBooks, ASUS Eee PCs, iPhones and iPod Touches.  

  • Appendix 1

Résumé of European Legislation passed to cap the 3G roaming charges charged by mobile operators*.

From July 1st 2009, European legislation has been introduced in order to:

1.    Cap the cost of using the internet and making and receiving calls and texts whilst travelling within the EU (international data roaming).
2.    The maximum mobile operators can now charge for downloading data is 1 Euro per megabyte and this will drop to 0.80 Euros in 2010 and 0.50 Euros in 2011.
3.    Data roaming services are also to be automatically cut by mobile operators when users reach a threshold of 50 Euros.
4.    Text messages sent from within the EU will now cost no more than 0.11 Euros
5.    Mobile phone calls made from within the EU will drop to 0.35 Euros by 2011
6.    Mobile calls received will aboard in an EU country have been cut by half to just 0.11 Euros.
7.    Mobile operators are also now obliged to bill roaming calls by the second from the 31st second of the call.

Considering the fact that some mobile operators were estimated to have been making 200% profit on calls made and between 300% and 400% profit on calls received whilst roaming, this legislation is great news for frequent travellers.  However, the 50 Euro automatic cut-off cap on roaming charges and the download costs, charged by the megabyte, still render 3G data roaming impractical and prohibitively expensive for frequent travellers.

* source : www.telecoms.com