A new report from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that that almost 70% of U.S. broadband households express interest in Wi-Fi-based mobile service plans if such plans can save them money. Among those having no interest, 38% perceive that Wi-Fi connections are unsafe and their data would be vulnerable to hacking. Nearly 40% aren’t interested because they are satisfied with their current mobile phone plan.

“Mobile consumers are always looking for reliable service coverage, faster data speeds, and a service plan with the best value,” said Harry Wang, director, Health & Mobile Product Research, Parks Associates. “Wi-Fi-based mobile service plans provide consumers with alternatives to 3G/4G services, and mobile operators need to look out for disruptors.”

Despite substantial consumer interest, Wi-Fi-based mobile phone services need to overcome significant hurdles, specifically the fears of data insecurity. Consumers are also worried about the inconvenience of searching for Wi-Fi hotspots and experiencing gaps in public Wi-Fi coverage, he added. The Parks Associates study also found that:

° Smartphone penetration has reached 86% of U.S. broadband households.

° Thirty-nine percent of smartphone owners use some sort of voice recognition software such as Siri or Google Now.

° Thirty-six percent of smartphone users use Wi-Fi calling.