Global public Wi-Fi hotspot numbers are set to grow from 1.3 million in 2011, to 5.8 million by 2015, a 350 percent increase. The number does not include 'community hotspots', where users share their own Wi-Fi access point with others, which add an additional 4.5 million worldwide, according to a report released by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and compiled by Informa. The findings show that 58 percent of operators - including 47 percent of mobile operators - believe Wi-Fi hotspots are either very important or crucial to their customers' experience; offload busy mobile broadband networks; and provide a value-added services platform. The survey found that smartphone connections to Wi-Fi hotspots will soon overtake laptops globally. Laptops now represent less than half (48%) of the connections to hotspots, smartphones account for 36 percent and tablets 10 percent.