Nine in ten UK businesses would consider switching to wireless broadband

Cambridge Broadband Networks (CBNL), the provider of licensed point-to-multipoint (PMP) microwave and millimetre wave, has today announced the results of its ‘UK Enterprise Broadband Index’. The survey of 200 businesses, conducted by market research firm Mobilesquared, highlights the gap between enterprise connectivity demands and the services they receive. Almost unanimously, 89% of UK businesses said they would consider switching to wireless broadband. This is coupled with the fact all respondents admitted poor broadband has negatively impacted their performance over the last two years, but more than half (56%) have not changed provider.

These striking statistics highlight the challenges UK businesses face in sourcing and switching providers, along with the significant market opportunity that exists for disruptive wireless carriers.

“It’s clear that a growing number of businesses find their connectivity requirements are growing faster than many broadband services can keep up with,” said Lionel Chmilewsky, CEO, CBNL. “To promote economic growth, it is essential that businesses have access to a greater range of agile broadband solutions which can scale more effectively with demand. This trend is likely to see operators drive more innovation into networks over the coming years, leverage emerging technology and develop 5G fixed wireless services.”

CBNL’s survey highlights that almost half of UK businesses (47%) are not receiving the broadband speeds advertised by their provider. Additionally, one in three businesses (35%) said that they have been negatively impacted by slow broadband speeds, while 34% experienced significant periods of network downtime. This new data clearly shows businesses are looking for faster and more reliable broadband options, yet half (56%) choose to remain with their current providers.

When asked why they opt to stay, one in three (32%) wanted to avoid disruption, 23% were tied into lengthy contracts, while 16% were restricted to services provided as part of a building lease. Moreover, one in ten (10%) suggested they would change at the earliest opportunity, demonstrating an appetite for viable alternatives.

The research highlights the significant market opportunity for disruptive carriers, with 89% of companies stating they would consider moving to wireless services if the speed and reliability was comparable to, or greater than, their existing broadband. With pre-5G fixed wireless commercially available, carriers have an immediate opportunity to leverage more agile and cost effective solutions that can quickly address this demand.

The need for more efficient infrastructure is illustrated by the fact that over half (56%) of businesses spend less than 30% of their IT budget on connectivity. More importantly, less than half of all respondents plan to increase expenditure over the next 12 months. This divergence between enterprises’ connectivity expectations and their connectivity expenditure highlights the importance to operators of innovation, in order to sustain and improve long-term network profitability.

Lionel Chmilewsky

CBNL CEO Lionel Chmilewsky concluded, “This data shows the vital role high capacity wireless can play, providing a more attractive business case to connect under-served businesses and quickly scale existing networks to multi-gigabit speeds.

“More specifically, the data shows the benefits that 26GHz can bring to the UK enterprise market and the value of Ofcom’s decision to call for inputs to inform their programme of work to make spectrum in the band available for 5G. Increasing availability of millimetre wave, such as this, is vital to stimulate broadband investment across global markets, enabling operators to unlock the capacity of high band spectrum and bring more competitive services to market.

We’ve seen through our own work in deploying networks in over 50 countries, including for seven of the top 10 largest mobile operator groups, the positive impact this can have on economies. Leveraging innovative techniques, such as this, is key to addressing gaps in broadband service and providing the next generation connectivity that will be central to the long-term success of UK plc.”

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