'UAE hotspotters are busiest in region'
DUBAI — UAE users are the keenest "hotspotters" in the region, with an impressive 23 per cent of hotspot users in the UAE claimed to access the Internet over public wireless networks every day, according to a survey carried out by Paradigm Research in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the UAE among more than 300 people from all walks of life.
The promise offered by IT vendors to deliver 'ease of use', 'freedom' and 'flexibility' via wireless laptops is one that they have lived up to in the Middle East according to research published today by Intel. Users throughout the region believe that the arrival in the region of slim and lightweight wireless laptops two years ago has helped them significantly in accessing and using information in their day-to-day lives. A massive 88 per cent of respondents identified the increased flexibility provided by notebook PCs in how, where and when to access the Internet as a key benefit.
"The sight of people busily tapping on wireless laptops in places as diverse as coffee shops, hotel lobbies and airports has become commonplace throughout the Middle East," said Samir Al Schamma, Intel's general manager for the GCC. "This study provides support for the view that users throughout the region believe that the 'mobile' dream has become reality for them."
The survey — carried out in spring 2005 to coincide with the second anniversary of the launch of Intel's Centrino mobile technology — revealed some interesting similarities, as well as some intriguing differences, among users of wireless technology in each of the three countries surveyed.
It is clear that technology has become very much a part of the fabric of life within the region as 68 per cent of respondents said that they use their laptop every day. Just eight per cent said that they used their computer once a week or less. When asked to comment on the benefits of using a laptop respondents gave two clear answers — portability / mobility (78 per cent) and convenience / flexibility (71 per cent). "The compactness of wireless laptops combined with their long battery life and performance have been key in enabling the mobile revolution," said Samir Al Schamma.
Coffee shops and Internet cafes (29 per cent) and hotels and airports (26 per cent) emerge as favourite venues for accessing Internet wirelessly. And when it comes to being the top hotspot users the UAE emerges triumphant with 29 per cent of respondents using a hotspot every day.
The overwhelming majority of respondents use their computers primarily to surf the Internet (78 per cent), with 62 per cent of them citing e-mail access as the secondary use for their PC.
"41 per cent of respondents said that they also use their laptop for entertainment" added Al Schamma. "This is a sign that the increased capabilities for better graphics and sound quality in laptops are enabling customers to use their computers in new ways.""What's clear from this study is that people throughout the Middle East love the advantages of mobile computing," concludes Al Schamma. "They can be assured that Intel will continue to support them through the development of products and in working with everyone from hotel chains to laptop vendors, to allow them to benefit further from this mobile revolution.
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