A high-speed mobile network beats out unlimited data as the “must-have” feature for consumers, according to BII's exclusive Digital Telecom Consumer Survey.
A high-speed mobile network beats out unlimited data as a “must-have” feature for consumers, according to BI Intelligence’s exclusive Digital Telecom Consumer Survey.
Overall, 84% of consumers said that a high-speed mobile network is a need-to-have offering when selecting a wireless provider — well above the 68% who said unlimited data. The results are surprising considering that unlimited data is the focus of most carriers' mobile offerings.
Here's why consumers now value network speed over unlimited data:
Additionally, telecoms' unlimited data plans actually do have limits — to offer these plans, telecoms throttle network speeds. Carriers are struggling to maintain network quality while meeting the growing demands of their unlimited data subscribers, according to a report by Open Signal. Some telecoms, like Verizon and AT&T, have opted to offer unlimited data plans that deliver high-bandwidth mobile content, like mobile video, at reduced speeds, to stave off the strain caused by growing mobile video consumption. Throttling likely exacerbates consumers' existing demand for faster network speeds.
While 5G, the next generation of mobile networking technology, will support the boom in streaming mobile video, it's still a long ways off. 5G technology is expected to increase mobile network capacity by 1,000 in 10 years compared with today’s 4G networks, according to estimates from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In the meantime, carriers will continue to find ways to accommodate growing demand for mobile video to win subscribers.
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