100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by the end of 2005

Want to check your email on the move? You'll have 100,000 places to choose from by the end of the year

The number of Wi-Fi hot spots looks set to break the six-figure barrier by the end of the year, according to analysts.

A new report from research firm Informa Telecoms and Media is predicting the number of Wi-Fi hotspots will reach 100,000 before the start of 2006.

The report also found that, at the end of the second quarter of this year, the number of Wi-Fi hot spots across the globe had already reached more than 84,000, with most new growth in the market for this quarter coming from the Asia-Pacific region.

However the fastest growth for the second quarter of this calendar year has been in western Europe, which now plays home to 42 percent of the world's Wi-Fi hot spots. North America remains the poor cousin of the Wi-Fi world with just 26 percent of global hot spots.

Despite the continuing boom in hotspots, users are apparently still scarce. A recent report by analyst house Gartner found that just one quarter of business travellers are using wireless hot spots.