iPass released findings from its Q1 2013 Global Mobile Workforce Report analyzing the evolution of the bring your own device (BYOD) trend and the hurdles to Wi-Fi connectivity and download speeds. The research shows that while business users of mobile leverage a variety of devices, data limits affect productivity.
And while the report doesn't mention this as a problem, slowing access or lack of connectivity could also affect the way ads serve-up across the internet and targeting techniques. The problem could also reach into online rich media advertising, altering the way ads serve up -- which is why Google continues to deploy 1 gigabit-per-second fiber network speeds. Next-generation mobile apps, new technologies, and sophisticated devices supporting intricate online ads will require faster speeds and continual access to WiFi or cellular services.
The growing appetite for mobile data compounds connectivity problems. With cellular networks, the main obstacle is cost. WiFi is becoming ubiquitous, but the majority of mobile workers report having trouble locating and connecting to a hotspot at least once weekly. Some 42% of mobile workers are already limiting their 3G/4G data use because of limitations in their plans.
Most mobile workers are within range of a WiFi network for at least 11 hours per day, whether in homes, offices, airports, shops, restaurants or outdoors. Only 8% said they had WiFi access just one to five hours a day. By 2015, the number of global public Wi-Fi hotspots should reach 5.8 million, according to the report, which cites Informa Telecoms and Media.
The question becomes, do companies subsidize hardware costs or reduce their own operating expenses by requiring employees to purchase and service their own hardware?. Some 62% of workers say they use personal smartphones for work, and 72% believe their personal devices should become enabled for work purposes. The report suggests a growing diversity in the types of devices that mobile workers choose to use.
The average number of devices carried by a mobile worker is now 2.95, down from 3.5 devices in 2012. The report points to BYOD policies for forcing this change by enabling workers to leave behind some of their hardware.
This year iPhones replaced last year's pick for the preferred device, the laptop. On a positive note, mobile workers have become more sensitive to high prices and data caps. Only 17% of workers participating in the report said they don't know or care how much data they use monthly on their smartphones, compared with 30% in 2012.
Have you had any experiences, lack of connectivity or slow Internet speeds, that would hinder the performance of ads?