Millennials are willing to pay for higher levels of service, and half of millennials polled would pay 5 percent of their annual salary for super-fast Internet, according to a CommScope survey of 4,000 millennials and baby boomers in San Francisco, London, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong.
The survey revealed more than 85 percent of millennials have a smartphone, and more than three-quarters of millennials surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that they expect to be able to stream video wherever they are.
"In our analysis of the survey data, what was most surprising was the high quantity of millennial respondents willing to pay a fairly sizeable portion of their income for super-fast Internet," Elise Vadnais, business development analyst at CommScope, told eWEEK. "Of note, when the income ranges of respondents were reviewed, it was revealed that respondents were evenly spread among lower, average and above average income ranges, making income level a non-factor relative to this trend."
Vadnais said this shows great opportunity for Internet service providers as they look to understand their millennial customers’ evolving needs and wants, which have proven to be much different than their previous, traditional customers.
"This prioritization of high-speed connectivity by millennials epitomizes the large group of service provider customers eager to consume and pay more for their services— if they are delivered in the way millennials want them," Vadnais said. "These services must be differentiated from those delivered previously, with greater flexibility and customization, greater capacity and coverage. If service providers cannot deliver services tailored to the millennial preference, they may risk becoming irrelevant to their largest potential consumer base."
The survey also found three-quarters of millennials said they would like to adjust the speed of their Internet services depending on their activities—and pay accordingly.
In addition, millenials revealed they were most interested in intelligent home systems that can adjust the temperature and lighting based on my activity, online purchases being delivered to them within an hour, wherever they are, and smart mass-transit systems that direct and optimize their route and anticipates service needs based on behavior patterns.
"We are going to see a lot of web access devices and tools evolve into meaningful applications in real life, creating significant benefits and efficiencies in daily reality, and the demand for these innovations will be fueled by the early-adopting millennials," Vadnais said. "With the onset of everything being connected and computed through the Internet of things, millennials’ preference for connectedness and meaningful applications is only going to rise rapidly from here."