Business Travelers Prefer Wi-Fi, but Cost, Relative to Value, Often is a Barrier
Respondents said Wi-Fi was preferred because it is faster, cheaper, offers higher bandwidth for video and cloud-based applications, and is more reliable than mobile data access.
The biggest advantage of cellular data is availability, but the expense associated with it is high. One reason for that estimation of value likely is “price anchoring,” the tendency for people to compare a price with something else. In other words,prices are relative.
For example, if you are considering any sort of peripheral for your iPhone, you will, without even thinking about it, compare the price of the accessory in relation to the price of the iPhone. Almost anything priced less than 10 percent of the price of the iPhone will seem reasonable.
Almost anything priced higher than that might raise questions about value, related to price. Almost nobody would consider buying an iPhone accessory priced as high as the cost of the iPhone itself, or more than that amount.
That likely is at play when consumers evaluate the cost of short term, transitory use of Wi-Fi, comparing the retail price, and the amount of time that connection can be used, to the recurring price of a fixed high speed access connection or 4G Long Term Evolution mobile Internet access, for example.
If use of an airplane Wi-Fi connection costs $8, or in-hotel Wi-Fi costs $15 a day, and won’t be used more than a couple of hours, the price, relative to value, is likely to be deemed costly, compared to a connection at home that a whole family can use, priced at perhaps $50 a month.
Likewise, users with an LTE mobile connection might--even with some experience issues--find using the mobile connection already paid for as a better value than using the short-term Wi-Fi connection. Airport Wi-Fi will have the same issue.
Users might evaluate the cost for minutes of use in relationship to the price to use an at-home connection for a month, even if Wi-Fi is the preferred access choice, were price not deemed to be an issue.
Use of transient Wi-Fi, in other words, though preferred, is often deemed too expensive.