Behind Closed Doors Part II: COVID-19’s Impact on Business End Users

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Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, ShareTracker has been busy collecting data detailing exactly how end users are consuming internet and wireless services—critical insight for the telecommunications industry, which is struggling to keep users up and running from home.

Last week, ShareTracker released important data detailing COVID-19’s impact on consumer wireless and internet users. Today, ShareTracker has gone a step further—releasing new, preliminary data highlighting COVID-19’s impact on business end-users.

For this study, ShareTracker surveyed 4,074 employed adults aged 18 or over, who have at least one cellular-enabled wireless computing device in their household.

First, ShareTracker inquired about how COVID-19 has changed the way people work. Forty-six percent of workers, the survey found, are now remote. Surprisingly, 31 percent reported having no changes despite the current situation.

Employee Changes

Next, ShareTracker asked employers for input on COVID-19. Thirty-four percent of respondents said that more employees are working remotely, while 28 percent have temporarily reduced or suspended operations.

It’s reassuring to see that 25 percent of employers have incorporated new security measures, with cybersecurity experts anticipating a large rise in cyberattacks against insecure home networks and remote connections.

Mobile devices, broadband upgrades, and web service upgrades appear to be less of a priority right now.

Employer Changes

One thing is clear following the survey: Workers are growing frustrated with service issues, for both broadband and wireless. Out of the two, broadband seems to be giving workers more trouble.

Service Issues

Naturally, many ISPs and wireless carriers are listening to consumer needs during this time and trying to come up with offerings to keep customers satisfied.

This begs the question: What do people want?

On the broadband side, 34 percent of respondents indicated they want service discounts and free service for qualified users. This was followed by waiving late fees (23 percent), deferred payment options (19 percent).

ISP Offerings

On the wireless side, 25 percent want deferred payment options. This was followed by waiving late fees and eliminating data caps, at 21 percent each.

Wireless Carrier Offerings

Surprisingly, about half of respondents on each claimed they don’t want any of the above-mentioned offers—indicating they are aware of the strain this is placing on networks and are content with what they are getting, or they want other offers that were not listed.

The survey then asked respondents to prioritize offers.

Offer Ranking For Carriers

 

Business and Consumer Comparison

ShareTracker also compared wireless end-user data through 1Q20, with consumer data from March. In both groups, nearly half of respondents indicated have been displaced from work as a result of COVID-19.

Impact on Personal Work Habits/ Communication Choices

  Wireless End Users

1Q20

Consumer

March

Now work from home as a result of COVID-19 46% 47%
Changed/plan to change my broadband carrier or data plan to give me more speed/bandwidth 16% 18%
Changed my wireless carrier or data plan to give me more speed/bandwidth 15% n/a
Made changes to my Internet service to cut costs 10% 3%
Made changes to my wireless service to cut costs 5% n/a
Watching more Video on Demand movies n/a 18%
Adding new streaming services n/a 14%
Upgrading my current Pay TV subscription to add premium channels n/a 7%
Changing, downgrading or eliminating TV services to reduce costs n/a 7%
No personal/HH changes 31% 28%

 

The following is a breakdown of how both groups are responding to internet and wireless offers:

Internet Carrier Offers

  Wireless EU-

1Q20

Consumer- March
BB – Service discounts/free service for qualified users 34% 16%
BB – Waiving late fees 23% 16%
BB – Providing more speed 21% 16%
BB – Deferred payment options 19% 15%
BB – Eliminating data caps 18% 14%
BB – None of these 49% 69%

Wireless Carrier Offers

  Wireless EU-

1Q20

Consumer- March
Wireless – Deferred payment options 25% 14%
Wireless – Waiving late fees 21% 16%
Wireless – Eliminating data caps 21% 15%
Wireless – Providing more speed 19% 13%
Wireless – Service discounts/free service for qualified users 18% 12%
Wireless – None of these 50% 70%

Offer Ranking – which is most important?

Top Rank
(Ranked as #1 or 2)

Wireless EU- 1Q20

Top Rank
(Ranked as #1 or 2)

Consumer-March

Service discounts/free service for qualified users 53% 34%
Deferred payment options 31% 29%
Waiving late fees 24% 33%
Eliminating data caps 24% 30%
Providing more speed 32% 43%
Offer additional data security tools 10% 16%
Provide service level guarantees 8% 16%
None of these are important to me 10% 30%

 

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