While the answer to the often asked question "What would a home do with a gigabit?" remains uncertain, service providers perhaps shouldn't delay offering gigabit broadband while they await clarity. According to the newly released "2016 Global Service Provider Survey – Gigabit Broadband Services" report from market research and analysis firm Broadbandtrends, operators who offer gigabit services have created a positive "halo" with customers that extends to other services.
"Technology leadership perception and the ‘halo-effect' it creates remains a key benefit from offering gigabit broadband, often resulting in gains in both subscribers and revenues – even if they do not take the gigabit option," explains Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst with Broadbandtrends.
Survey respondents say that uncertainty around return on investment is their greatest concern regarding the offer of gigabit broadband services. Nevertheless, 61% of service providers covered in the survey report they are offering symmetrical gigabit services to residential customers. Of these operators, 66% say that demand for such services has either met or exceeded expectations. Meanwhile, survey participants report that gigabit broadband provision has had a minimal effect on overall network traffic, assuaging possible concerns regarding increased backhaul costs.
Looking ahead, Broadbandtrends reports strong interest in NG-PON2 fiber to the home (FTTH) technology in 2017, as well as G.fast to help deliver services to subscribers in multiple dwelling units (MDUs). Future Ultra-HD services such as 4K video appear to be a driver for gigabit service roll outs, as are smart home offerings.
The 29-page "Gigabit Broadband Services Survey" reports the results of interview with decision makers at 66 broadband operators of various types in North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific, and CALA that were actively deploying gigabit broadband services. The survey report highlights survey respondents' length of time offering gigabit broadband as well as perceptions and details of key benefits, key challenges, deployed technology, service offerings (current and future), impact on network traffic, gigabit broadband availability, current take rates, and impact on overall broadband demand.
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