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Europe leads the way with public Wi-Fi

The number of public Wi-Fi hotspots, such as these areas of London, is expected to grow by 25% this year

At the end of this year, there will be 179,500 public Wi-Fi networks around the world for you to hook your notebook computer up to. Europe currently has the most, with 70,000 public Wi-Fi hotspots

The number of Wi-Fi hotspots will increase by 25 per cent around the world this year, compared to 2006, according to research firm ABI Research . It estimates that 179,500 wireless networks will exist by the end of 2007.

Almost three out of every four wireless networks (72 per cent) can be found in Europe and North America.

The number is expected to grow as many restaurants - such as fast food chain McDonald's - are installing hotspots.