Exalt Communications Brings Out Telecom Professionals Survey Results [Health & Beauty Close - Up]
(Health & Beauty Close - Up Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Exalt Communications released the findings of a survey of telecom professionals revealing that the telecom industry is split regarding the best way to expand rural broadband penetration in the U.S. and enhance mobile broadband capacity in urban areas.
"Considering the head start the U.S. once had, today's broadband networks are woefully inadequate," said Amir Zoufonoun, president and CEO of Exalt Communications, in a release. "We sponsored this survey to better understand why, in terms of broadband speed and penetration, the U.S. is falling behind smaller countries with fewer resources. By polling only telecom executives, engineers, and field techs, we thought we'd gain some insights or, at least, find some consensus that could help us understand if product deficiencies might be behind the slowdown. Instead, we found misperceptions and disaccord on the future of broadband networks in both rural and urban regions of the U.S.
"It seems broadband service providers could agree on only one issue that they're not making enough money. While 32 percent of survey respondents believe that broadband connectivity should be a basic human right, 65 percent admit that what's holding back connectivity in rural areas isn't technology or demand, but ROI for service providers. The situation isn't any clearer for mobile operators in urban areas grappling with subscriber demand for data. Although 76 percent of respondents agree on the importance of small cells to improve mobile backhaul capacity, their willingness to consider equipment from small-cell startup companies shows they are still developing their small-cell strategies and searching for the best ways to implement them."
The Exalt-sponsored survey of telecom pros shows that 39 percent thought that no more than half the U.S. had broadband connectivity, and another 11 percent overestimated this figure, replying that three-quarters of the population currently has connectivity. Although telecom pros should be the people closest to understanding how their broadband networks are built and used, the survey revealed that the industry is far removed from the reality of U.S. broadband penetration: only half of respondents accurately assessed the country's current broadband penetration rate.
The survey revealed further disparities when respondents were asked what would most positively impact the availability of broadband connectivity in rural areas. More competition from local utility providers scored the highest here with 32 percent, and more government funding scored second with 26 percent. Meanwhile, demonstrating the mixed feelings regarding government interaction, less government regulation (15 percent) was cited two-to-one over more government mandates (7 percent).
-32 percent believe that residential broadband should be a basic human right.
-65 percent said ROI for service providers is most responsible for lack of broadband connectivity. Only 20 percent cited lack of technology as the cause.
-59 percent responded that neither would do more than the other when asked which political party would do more to promote broadband in rural areas. Democrats (25 percent) outscored Republicans (16 percent) among those who had a preference.
While rural areas struggle with access to broadband connectivity in places where running fiber-optic cables is not a realistic or economically viable option, urban areas are struggling with capacity issues.
Here the industry demonstrated some agreement. When asked about small cells' importance in network architecture, 76 percent responded that it was either key to their network's future (29 percent) or at least an element of their networks (47 percent). Another 73 percent agreed that small cells would help improve network and service performance and the customer experience at the network edge.
Mobile operators can agree on the importance of small cells, but their opinions differ on the vendors and sourcing strategies that will shape the new networks. The survey reflected the open nature of the small-cell market. 39 percent of respondents said they would be likely or very likely to turn to a startup vendor for small-cell technology, and 30 percent said that only established or incumbent vendors would be considered.
Additional survey results include:
-36 percent said the need driving small-cell deployments is to meet high demand for capacity in urban areas.
-35 percent said small-cell deployment plans are somewhere between on the radar and in the investigation and planning stage, while another 35 percent simply replied don't know.
Exalt Communications provides next-generation microwave backhaul systems.
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