For most people, it would be hard to go even a few hours without an Internet connection to power a laptop or mobile device. According to a new report, consumers worldwide are more eager than ever to have access to stronger, faster and easier-to-use Wi-Fi services. So eager, in fact, that they are willing to pay a premium to get them.
A recent survey conducted by IE Market Research found that Wi-Fi is more in demand than ever, and subscribers are even willing to relinquish some of their privacy to get a better client experience and personalized offers. The study, which included responses from more than 4,000 Wi-Fi clients in 11 countries, revealed some interesting, though perhaps not surprising, facts about consumer Wi-Fi use.
“Canadian and U.S. clients are willing to pay almost 10% more on average for broadband Internet with certain amenities.”
According to the report, the biggest pain points when it comes to Wi-FI service is coverage outside the house and poor connection speed. Consumers are ready to pay extra to receive carrier-grade services, with clients in Canada and the U.S. willing to pay almost 10 percent more on average for their broadband Internet if it includes service outside of the home and provides a high-connection speed, seamless connections across various endpoints and has automatic handoff to cellular networks.
Stronger, more personalized Wi-Fi top priorities
So interested in stronger Wi-Fi connections are consumers that nearly 66 percent of those surveyed said they would consider replacing their cellphone plans with a Wi-Fi first offering. Kristin Dolan, chief operating officer of Cablevision, explained this growing trend by saying that cellular networks were built to carry voice, while Wi-Fi connections were meant to handle data. As consumers spend more time using the Internet on their phones and doing things other than make calls like watch video, Wi-Fi becomes the channel of choice for many users.
“Connectivity, particularly wireless, is going to become more and more important to our consumers,” said Cablevision CEO James Dolan. “Connectivity has surpassed video as the primary product for a company like ours. And we need to continue to strategize our product offerings to reflect that with different packaging, etc., which is something I think we will do in 2015.”
Another interesting fact the survey uncovered is that 80 percent of participants said they would feel comfortable allowing their service provider to collect personal data if it would make the marketing and client service experience more personalized and satisfactory. Another 7 percent of respondents said they would even be willing to pay more for their service each month if it meant they would get customized offers and personalized service.
“Clients are looking for customized care,” said Nizar Assanie, vice president of IE Market Research. “This question wasn’t asking whether they’d pay more as a line item for customized care. But they did see the value in it. There is a demand for personalized client support and better quality of service and consumers are willing to pay to get it.”