SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 7, 2005 – Seattle is now the most unwired city in America, according to Intel Corporation's third annual “Most Unwired Cities” survey released today.
In a rapidly changing wireless landscape, Seattle narrowly unseated former top position holders San Francisco (2004's Most Unwired City ) and Portland , Ore. (2003's Most Unwired City ). Seattle-area residents can now stay connected, informed and entertained throughout the city, from the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market and the Bank of America Tower to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the Space Needle.
This year's survey sheds more light on what previous Intel Unwired Cities surveys were indicating – that connecting to wireless Internet access points with laptop PCs and other wireless-enabled devices in public places is becoming part of everyday life in America . Businesses use wireless Internet access as a competitive advantage to attract customers, and cities use it to enhance livability and quality of life. Consumers are also discovering these so-called “WiFi hotspots” at an increasingly diverse range of locations – from airports and hotels to laundromats and baseball parks.
“Wireless is becoming a fundamental part of how we live,” said Bert Sperling of Sperling's Best Places, which conducted the surveys. “The ability to access information and entertainment when and where you want it is simply irresistible to business people seeking greater productivity and consumers who live an on-the-go lifestyle.”
Following the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett-Tacoma, Wash. area on the list of top 10 unwired regions are San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland, Calif. (No. 2); Austin, Texas (No. 3); Portland, Ore.-Vancouver, Wash. (No. 4); Toledo, Ohio (No. 5); Atlanta (No. 6); Denver (N o. 7); Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (No. ; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (No. 9) and Orange County, Calif. (No.10). Making the biggest jump over last year, Baton Rouge , La. climbed 67 spots to crack the top 20. The complete list of Intel's “Most Unwired Cities” is available at http://www.intel.com/go/unwiredcities .
In addition to identifying the top unwired regions, the survey found increasing diversity in the types of places where WiFi is being offered, including:
Legacy Golf Resort – Phoenix
Kansas Speedway – Kansas City , Kan.
Chelsea Piers – New York
Loveland Ski Area – Georgetown , Colo.
SBC Park – San Francisco
Dirtwood Skatepark – Houston
King County Library – Seattle
Waveland Bowl – Chicago
The Unwired Laptop PC
As the availability of WiFi expands, analysts foresee steady growth in the sales of wireless-enabled laptop PCs. Market research firm IDC predicts that wireless-enabled laptop PCs will represent 100 percent of laptop PC sales in 2007, up from 65 percent in 2004.1
The latest wireless laptop PCs equipped with Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology provide a unique balance of wireless connectivity; great battery life; thinner, lighter and more stylish form factors; and outstanding mobile performance. Today a laptop PC can serve as a personal computer and wireless communicator, as well as a gaming console, TV and MP3 player.
In addition to wireless-enabled laptop PCs, personal digital assistants, smart phones and other devices are helping drive the unwired lifestyle by offering new consumer-friendly capabilities that allow people to stay connected, informed and entertained wherever they are.
The Unwired Home
As wireless computing catches hold, consumers have become more accustomed to the concept of unwiring. A separate poll commissioned by Intel and conducted by Harris Interactive® revealed that almost one in five (18 percent) online adult computer users in the United States have connected to the Internet using a hotspot located in a public place.2
As consumers experience the benefits of an on-the-go unwired lifestyle, they desire the same convenience and freedom at home. Laptop PCs coupled with wireless home networks now offer consumers the flexibility to access information and entertainment, download music or surf the Internet from anywhere in their homes.+
The poll also revealed that four out of five (80 percent) respondents with a wireless home network now use their computers in more rooms in and around their home.2 In addition, online adults with a wireless home network enjoy being able to spend more time surfing the Internet (59 percent), e-mailing friends and family (49 percent) and sharing photos (29 percent) more now than they did before installing their wireless home network.2
Overall, the top benefit cited for deploying or considering a wireless home network was having the freedom and flexibility to log on from more places in and around the house (58 percent) – with the bedroom (41 percent), living room (40 percent) and backyard (34 percent) topping the most desired computing locations.2
The Unwired Future
“WiFi has changed the communications landscape, but it's only the beginning,” said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobility Group. “WiMAX is the next broadband technology innovation that promises to bring wireless computing and connectivity to more people than ever before.”
WiMAX, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a technology that can transmit wireless Internet access at DSL or T1 speeds up to 30 miles to large metro or rural areas. WiMAX is expected to provide a cost-effective wireless alternative to cable, DSL and T1, and help to drive last-mile broadband connectivity to areas currently underserved.
As wireless broadband expands beyond the confines of building walls to citywide coverage, Intel is working with business and community leaders through a Digital Cities initiative to help develop the infrastructure and innovative services that meet the needs of local governments, citizens and businesses. The Digital Cities initiative provides a map of the tools – broadband connectivity, core computing technologies and interoperable applications – to help enable mobile workers, transform government services, increase economic vitality and enhance the livability of communities.
About the Survey
Survey findings for the 2005 “Most Unwired Cities” are based on the number of commercial and public or “free” wireless access points (hotspots), airports with wireless access, and broadband availability. The survey also included community wireless access points, local wireless networks and wireless e-mail devices. The metro areas included in the survey were the 100 largest in the United States and based on the definitions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas from the U.S. Census Bureau. The data was also calculated at the per-capita level to determine how many people share hotspots within a given city or region. Data was collected from a variety of industry sources between Jan. 1 and April 15, 2005 and weighted across a 100-point scale to allow comparison between categories.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at http://www.intel.com/pressroom.
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