Where would you be most likely to use Internet wi-fi?
It looks like Etisalat’s plan to provide wi-fi access in a park in Dubai may not work out – most people aren’t interested.
May 24, 2010 10:36 by Sam Potter
Earlier this month, UAE telecoms operator Etisalat announced that a wi-fi network would be available in Dubai’s Zabeel Park.
Gulf News reported that Etisalat had signed an agreement with Dubai Municipality to provide a “wireless data communication service at Zabeel Park in dedicated hotspots.” The paper said the move would mean visitors to the park would now be able to enjoy uninterrupted connectivity with wi-fi enabled devices, including Smartphones, Netbooks, Notebooks and portable gaming consoles. The service will start at AED 5 for the first half an hour.
But Kipp was confused, surely no one wants to go to the park to look at a tiny screen all day? So we asked readers to vote: where are you most likely to use wi-fi? The results are in, and it looks like Kipp was right.
Under 18 percent of respondents said they would use wi-fi in the park; hardly a ringing endorsement for Etisalat (and Zabeel Park)’s new gimmick. Presumably this number would drop away to zero in the brutal high summer of the UAE – Kipp doubts the machines would survive the heat, let alone the users.
Meanwhile the majority of respondents, almost 73 percent, said wi-fi networks were most useful to them at coffee shops – good news for the likes of Starbucks, who provide wi-fi as standard.
Less than 7 percent said they would use wi-fi on public transport. Kipp thinks this could be a reflection of the fact that UAE residents (who form the majority of Kipp readers) are unlikely to use public transport at all, let alone use wi-fi on it. Or maybe it’s just that they enjoy a bit of peace and quiet on the way to and from the office.
Finally, less than 3 percent – the smallest proportion of respondents – said they would use wi-fi at the beach. No wonder, really – the sand gets everywhere.