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The UK is leading the global wireless broadband boom, according to one analyst firm.

Informa Telecoms & Media (ICM) explains there are already 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots across Britain, and this is set to increase to 21 million by 2015.

The firm expects there to be 652 million hotspots worldwide within four years as more consumers and businesses recognise the value of wireless connectivity.

Research conducted by ICM revealed that 21 per cent of people would visit a place again if it had Wi-Fi and 17 per cent would choose a place with wireless broadband over one without.

Some 13 per cent said they would recommend a place to a friend if it offers Wi-Fi access.

Thomas Wehmeier, Principal Analyst at ICM, said that when Wi-Fi services were launched ten years ago, "nobody could have imagined just how central to everyday life the technology would eventually become".

"For today’s connected consumer, Wi-Fi is an essential way to connect and communicate via an increasing number of smart devices," he stated.

Mr Wehmeier noted that wireless broadband services have become crucial to smartphone and media tablet users, and in the future will be available on virtually any consumer electronic device.

Last month, Lyssa McGowan, Director of Communications Products at Sky, claimed that Wi-Fi is now "part and parcel of everyday life".

"More and more of us want to get online outside the home and do it with the speed and convenience that only Wi-Fi brings - whether it’s a video with your cappuccino, catching up on emails while waiting for your train, or keeping yourself occupied while being dragged round the shops with your partner," she stated.

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