According to statistics from the telecoms regulator, Comreg, the number of WiFi hotspots in Ireland has increased by 84%.
The majority of these new wifi hotspots have been set up by hotels, cafes, and retailers trying to give customers a way of checking Facebook and email while in their premises.
The growth in hotspots comes as a response to the amount of time retail customers are spending online at public WiFi hotspots. According to Comreg, this now stands at 2.9 million minutes per day – a rise of 171pc over the same period last year. Many pubs are also starting to offer free wifi to its customers.
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The rapid expansion of Eircom's public WiFi scheme has aided this growth significantly, which the company markets in alongside its phone or broadband services.
Speaking in today's Irish Independent, the head of the country's largest WiFi operator by traffic, Bitbuzz, said that changing consumer habits had forced retailers to deploy WiFi as a sales-retention tactic.
"We're dealing with a lot of marketing executives in retailers and hotels who want to find out more about the customers in their stores," said Shane Deasy.
Mr Deasy said Irish consumers are using WiFi less for email and more for social media and media streaming.