Red hotspots: The 15 countries where public Wi-Fi is growing the fastest

Looking to visit or move to a place with ample access to Wi-Fi? New projections reveal which countries will see the greatest growth in Wi-Fi hotspots by 2018

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Credit: Ester Inbar
The 15 countries where public Wi-Fi is growing the fastest

The number of public Wi-Fi hotspots continues to grow at a very quick rate. New data recently released by global Wi-Fi provider iPass estimates that the total number of public hotspots available worldwide by the end of the year will by 47.7 million, about one hotspot for every 150 people and will jump to over 340 million, one for every 20 people, by 2018. The growth in Wi-Fi hotspots will come from a wide array of sources, including businesses, Internet and mobile providers, residences and communities, and will span land, sea and air (e.g., airplanes).

But which countries will see the biggest growth in Wi-Fi hotspots in the near future? Currently, France, the United States and the United Kingdom lead the way in sheer number of hotspots. Going forward, though, many other countries around the world will see explosive growth in the availability of public Wi-Fi. Based on the data collected jointly by iPass and wireless infrastructure analysts Maravedis-Rethink, the following are the 15 countries that will see the largest increase in public Wi-Fi hotspots between now and 2018.

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St Basils Cathedral, Moscow Russia
15. Russia

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 4,365%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 158,503

Total population: 136,718,880

People per hotspot: 863

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 7,076,991

Projected total population: 133,795,056

Projected people per hotspot: 19

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Hillbrow and the Hillbrow Tower, Johannesburg, South Africe
Credit: NJR ZA
14. South Africa

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 4,925%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 8,611

Total population: 48,375,644

People per hotspot: 5,618

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 432,719

Projected total population: 48,440,136

Projected people per hotspot: 112

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Casa Mila or La Pedrera, designed by Antoni Gaudi, in Barcelona, Spain
13. Spain

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 5,156%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 142,433

Total population: 47,737,940

People per hotspot: 335

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 7,486,294

Projected total population: 49,331,076

Projected people per hotspot: 7

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Colorful houses, Guanojuato, Mexico
12. Mexico

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 5,692%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 100,618

Total population: 117,459,368

People per hotspot: 1,167

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 5,827,389

Projected total population: 122,311,744

Projected people per hotspot: 21

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Hagia Sophia and Eminonu from Pierreloti Hll in Istanbul, Turkey
11. Turkey

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 5,918%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 32,409

Total population: 81,619,392

People per hotspot: 2,518

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 1,950,468

Projected total population: 85,120,680

Projected people per hotspot: 44

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Sun setting over downtown Dubai
10. United Arab Emirates

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 6,117%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 7,896

Total population: 5,628,805

People per hotspot: 713

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 490,933

Projected total population: 6,215,216

Projected people per hotspot: 13

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Street scene in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
Credit: flickr/Ryan
9. India

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 6,961%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 29,205

Total population: 1,236,344,576

People per hotspot: 42,333

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 2,062,265

Projected total population: 1,296,834,048

Projected people per hotspot: 629

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Switzerland
8. Switzerland

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 7,664%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 36,118

Total population: 7,684,536

People per hotspot: 213

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 2,804,379

Projected total population: 7,732,428

Projected people per hotspot: 3

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Stockholm, Sweden
7. Sweden

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 8,901%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 24,522

Total population: 9,135,785

People per hotspot: 373

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 2,207,197

Projected total population: 9,207,838

Projected people per hotspot: 4

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Colorful colonial buildings in Cartagena, Colombia
6. Colombia

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 9,058%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 17,465

Total population: 46,245,296

People per hotspot: 2,648

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 1,599,491

Projected total population: 48,168,996

Projected people per hotspot: 30

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

A view of downtown Sydney from the ferry
5. Australia

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 9,817%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 32,059

Total population: 22,507,616

People per hotspot: 702

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 3,179,163

Projected total population: 23,470,144

Projected people per hotspot: 7

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Innsbruck, Austria
4. Austria

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 12,045%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 15,170

Total population: 8,223,062

People per hotspot: 542

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 1,842,334

Projected total population: 8,223,706

Projected people per hotspot: 4

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Henningsvaer, Lofoten, Norway
3. Norway

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 15,810%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 7,595

Total population: 4,738,261

People per hotspot: 624

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 1,208,340

Projected total population: 4,802,913

Projected people per hotspot: 4

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

St. Peter's Square, Rome, Italy
2. Italy

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 16,407%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 49,943

Total population: 61,680,120

People per hotspot: 1,235

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 8,243,900

Projected total population: 62,246,672

Projected people per hotspot: 8

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-RethinkGeoba.se

Puerto Madero - Buenos Aires, Argentina
1. Argentina

Projected growth in Wi-Fi hotspots, 2014 to 2018: 27,588%

2014

Total Wi-Fi hotspots: 21,380

Total population: 43,024,376

People per hotspot: 2,012

2018

Projected total Wi-Fi hotspots: 5,919,667

Projected total population: 44,618,172

Projected people per hotspot: 8

Data sources: iPass/Maravedis-Rethink, Geoba.se