CommScope: Millennials Driving Network Changes

According to a survey from CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM), global network operators should plan for continued capacity growth, greater ...

Millennials driving network changes
Millennials driving network changes

According to a survey from CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM), global network operators should plan for continued capacity growth, greater flexibility, a larger array of services and corresponding billing models to address societal changes brought on by the Millennial generation.

Millennials driving network changesMillennials driving network changesSlated to represent three of every four people in the global workforce by 2025, Millennials have preferences and spending habits that directly impact telecommunications service providers and content providers, CommScope says. For example, more than 85% of Millennials have smartphones, and 77% of Millennials agreed or strongly agreed that they expect to be able to stream video wherever they are. Results indicated that Millennials are willing to pay for higher levels of service; for example, half of millennials said they would pay 5% of their annual salary for super-fast Internet.

Other findings indicate:

  • Millennials are so accustomed to the Internet that they would rather give up plumbing, heating and air conditioning, personal transportation and cable TV before they would go without connectivity and the electricity needed to power their devices.
  • Two-thirds of Millennials agreed or strongly agreed that social media is their major form of social communication, compared with one-third of Baby Boomers.
  • Three-quarters of Millennials said they would like to adjust the speed of their Internet services depending on their activities and pay accordingly.

CommScope says the findings suggest several imperatives for network service providers:

  • Wireless service providers need to continue to build out and expand their networks, while enterprises, retailers, hotels, and other organizations would be wise to work with the providers to address their in-building wireless needs.
  • Wireless networks must continue to increase in speed and capacity and need additional focus on response time (or latency). Advances and adoption of cloud RAN, virtualization and eventually 5G technologies will likely assist in this mission.
  • Fiber will be driven deeper toward the edge to satiate demands for higher bandwidth and improve latency.
  • Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) will improve efficiency, drive capacity where it is needed, when it is needed, and generally increase network agility.

"Millennials will represent the lion's share of purchasing power in a few years, and since they prioritize devices and access to fast Internet, they are expected to continue to put high levels of spend towards connectivity. However, they need to be served differently than previous generations in order to meet their expectations," said Morgan Kurk, chief technology officer, CommScope.

The survey was conducted among 4,000 Millennials and Baby Boomers in San Francisco, London, Sao Paolo, and Hong Kong in early 2016.

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