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Mobile wireless broadband is essential for business travellers, a new investigation has discovered.

Figures disclosed by American Airlines reveal that almost half of all professionals who frequently travel see Wi-Fi access as the most important facility at an airport.

In contrast, as few as 15 per cent identified food as being more vital than broadband technology when travelling.

Commenting on the findings, director of marketing at Hewlett Packard's notebook global business unit, Carol Hess-Nickels, said: "Business travellers expect connectivity and see it as a necessity, not a luxury."

She added that the company "understands" the mobile broadband demands of "on-the-go professionals" and was developing a set of new products specifically for this.

An investigation published by the consultancy In-Stat this month showed that as many as 800 planes across the globe could be equipped with mobile broadband by the end of the year.

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