Millennials' take on connectivity: Big budgets, small screens

July 1, 2016
CommScope recently reported on a survey it conducted earlier this year that compared and contrasted the attitudes of Millennials and of Baby Boomers toward network connectivity.

CommScope (www.commscope.com) recently reported on a survey it conducted earlier this year that compared and contrasted the attitudes of Millennials and of Baby Boomers toward network connectivity. In the report titled “Your network: Now serving Millennials,” CommScope market intelligence analyst Elise Vadnais provides data from the survey and analysis that puts the data into a larger cultural perspective.

Conducted in February 2016, the survey defined Millennials as those between the ages of 15 and 35 inclusive, and Baby Boomers as those between the ages of 51 and 70 inclusive. It gathered information from a total of 4,000 individuals from the following metropolitan areas: San Francisco, Sao Paulo, London, and Hong Kong.

Vadnais stated that younger Millennials-those under 20-“are the first cohort to grow up within a fully immersed digital, wireless world. Rather than treating the internet as a ‘tool,’ a ‘knowledgebase’ or a ‘means to an end’ … younger Millennials view the internet as an indistinguishable part of their individual identity and the social fabric of their lives.”

Given that reality, she continued, “It is not surprising that our survey reaffirmed Millennials’ prioritization of instant, constant connectivity, primarily through the smartphone.” A logical deduction, then, is that these young Millennials expect immediate and reliable connectivity regardless of time or place.

The report covers many data points from the survey; we will focus on two closely related points here. In one question, respondents were asked how true the following statement is: If I had the opportunity, I would pay up to 5 percent of my annual salary for super-fast internet for one year. Response options were: Strongly agree, Agree, No opinion, Disagree, Strongly disagree. Across the four geographic regions, half the Millennials answered in the affirmative; 22 percent of Baby Boomers did.

Separately, survey respondents were asked to choose from a range of figures-in their local currency-to indicate how much they are willing to pay on a monthly basis to ensure unlimited high-speed internet connectivity. The CommScope report explains, “Millennials are willing to spend 28 percent more per month on average than Boomers” to ensure unlimited high-speed connectivity.

Another data point from the survey indicates that Millennials may be budgeting for a large monthly connectivity bill by not purchasing the latest television technology. Vadnais noted, “Given the rapid proliferation of web- and wireless device-based media channels through which entertainment can be consumed, our survey found that real-time streaming audio and video represents a much more significant portion of a typical Millennials’ day … Baby Boomers were more likely to consume their entertainment through traditional media channels like cable TV … While bandwidth is essential to deliver higher-resolution content-especially the jump in video quality from 720p to 1080p to 4k-the study corroborated an interesting and perhaps unexpected trend about Millennials. Since they grew up with a smartphone in hand, screen size isn’t as important to them as it is for Baby Boomers, for whom television remains the primary entertainment channel.”

You can download the full report at commscope.com/millennials.

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