Consumers are sending a strong message to mobile operators that cellular coverage is as important at work as it is as home, with up to 74 percent expressing a potential willingness to switch mobile operators to get better coverage at the office, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by SpiderCloud Wireless.
The report found that 38 percent of all consumers said they would switch mobile operators to achieve better coverage and reception inside their office buildings, while an additional 36 percent were on the fence. The research also revealed 40 percent surveyed would be happier and more productive if indoor cellular coverage was improved.
"At a personal level, mobile has moved from 'nice to have' to mission critical," Art King, director of enterprise services and technology at SpiderCloud, told eWeek. "Employees expect that normal business and personal activities should not be hampered by lack of signal."
As for increasing their usage of the personal mobile device for work purposes, such as with corporate bring your own device (BYOD) policies, 56 percent responded they would be happy to use their own mobile device if their company guaranteed they would not be personally billed for any business usage while in the office building.
When further examining survey respondents who worked at larger enterprises with 500 employees or more, the numbers were similar. Of those surveyed, 32 percent would be willing to move operators for better mobile service whereas 33 percent remained undecided.
"There are a variety of legacy technologies available for enterprises that have a very high implementation cost and TCO such that they are limited to the very few who are rich enough to self-fund or important enough that the mobile operators will make the investment," King said. "Scalable Small Cells have emerged precisely to fill the vast market gap between SMB solutions and the very expensive legacy technologies."
Sixty percent of survey respondents stated they would be happy to use their mobile device for work purposes if they were not billed for mobile usage while inside the office.
The research also uncovered generational differences for happiness and productivity based on mobile dependency at larger enterprises, 500 or more employees. Of the Millennials, often considered digital natives, 37 percent would be happier if cellular coverage and capacity improved in their workplace. However, the response rate was higher among those of Generation X with 41 percent noting they may depend more on mobility than the Millennial workforce.
For workers over 55, mobility was still important (31 percent), but less so than their younger counterparts.
"Mobile technology is fundamentally transforming how people interact with data in business applications," King said. "As the decline in laptops is illustrating, mobile and mobile business Apps are becoming the go-to strategy for workers for the majority of activities performed while away from office. The evolution that is coming is better content creation on larger form factors like tablets while mobile and business improve the app user experience."