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Study: Wi-Fi proliferating in homes

More people are using wireless networking technology Wi-Fi in their homes than in offices or public places, according to research firm IDC.

More people are using wireless networking technology Wi-Fi in their homes than in offices or public places, according to research firm IDC.

In a survey of 2,500 users of mobile devices, IDC found that 34 percent of those who use Wi-Fi technology connect to a wireless network at home, compared with 27 percent at work.

"In lean economic times, providing a wireless LAN (local area network) is a low priority for many IT (information technology) organizations, while lower price points on wireless access points has spurred increased use of wireless LAN in the home," Randy Giusto, a vice president at IDC, said in statement.

The availability of affordable wireless computing devices, low-cost wireless home connections and a rise in so-called hot spots are driving the use of wireless beyond the office, especially at home. Hot spots are public places that give people wireless access.

Wireless LANs are showing up everywhere--in the home, the office and public places such as Starbucks outlets and airport lounges. Network operators are expected to install more than 55,000 new hot spots in the United States over the next five years, adding to the 4,200 locations already in place as of the end of 2002, according to IDC.

The research firm said as mobile workers get more accustomed to electronic communication, potential benefits such as increased productivity will force businesses to implement wireless networks. At the same time, demand for home-based products will grow, as consumers become more used to wireless networking at home.