Who has the hottest spots in the world? The US has the most WiFi hotspots but the UK is more densely wireless, a thorough British study (PDF) of wireless connections around the world finds, according to Ars Technica.
America leads the hotspot race with 26,000 access points, 25% of the world's total. But the UK and Ireland have 18 hotspots per 100 people, compared to 8.8 in the US. China and Italy were the least dense at .2 and 3 per 100 people, respectively.
What about the rest of Asia? Surprisingly, Japan had only 5.3 hotspots per 100 people. But this may have to do with the massive number of 3G phone connections - 30 million. Italy came in second with 10.8 million. That probably explains both Japan and Italy's low hotspot penetration. The US came in last in 3G with just 2.7 million connections.
So where are people most keen on the full range of Internet - watching music videos, television and news programs, file sharing, using websites to keep in touch, and using the web to meet new people? China, just the place where access is most censored. China's telecommunications revenue is also the highest in the world at 4.3 percent of the GDP, with the UK closely following at 4.1 percent.
What picture does this paint of the world's use of telecommunications services? A pretty decent one, we think. Despite China's heavy use of all things Internet, WiFi hotspots don't seem to be as important to consumers there as they are in western countries. However, this could also mean that China has a huge potential market for WiFi hotspots as the country develops and more consumers begin to purchase expensive laptops that are popular in the west. On the flipside, WiFi may never take off in China and they could go the Japan route by adopting high-speed mobile connections like 3G. Even in places like the US, the land of milk and WiFi, there's no guarantee that short-range services like WiFi will maintain their lead in the future once 3G and EVDO services start to gain momentum.