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Subscribers love to use their WiFi a lot, even if they also tend to like to complain about it a lot.

“WiFi is by far the most common way that U.S. broadband households access the internet in the home, and the convenience of this access technology encourages households to acquire more connected products,” Parks Senior Research Director Brett Sappington, says.

The “360 View: Entertainment Services in U.S. Broadband Households” study released last month by Parks reported that 71 percent of U.S. broadband households have WiFi or Apple AirPort access and these WiFi households average more than 30 percent more computing devices than non-WiFi households.

XCellAir released new data on Tuesday suggesting that interest in managed WiFi services represents a $6.7 billion missed opportunity for service providers globally. The survey of 1,000 consumers each in the United States and United Kingdom says that on average, 15 percent of consumers would be willing to pay for their WiFi service to be managed by their service provider or a third party. Respondents also say they would be willing to pay on average $34 per year for such managed services.

XCellAir explains that its view of the $6.7 billion opportunity comes from revenue lost from consumers willing to pay for managed WiFi services, as well as operational expenditure savings from a reduction in helpline calls and engineer visits. “Using industry forecasts for installed WiFi and the number of consumers willing to pay for managed WiFi services as revealed in the survey, XCellAir calculates that service providers could miss out on $3.3 billion in additional revenue in 2018. OPEX savings from managed services, based on the average cost of customer helpline calls and truck rolls to configure or repair access points, could reach as much as $3.4 billion,” the company says in a statement about the study.

Todd Mersch, co-founder and EVP of sales and marketing at XCellAir, stresses that the nascent demand for managed WiFi services is something subs are actually willing to pay for. “Against a backdrop of new uses for domestic WiFi, from streaming media to smart home devices, it is remarkable that almost everyone surveyed had completely unmanaged WiFi. Consumers are going to look to ISPs to provide and manage their WiFi as more connected devices fill the home,” Mersch observes.

XCellAir’s December 2016 survey shows that 50 percent of respondents blame their internet service provider for problems with their WiFi, regardless of who provided their router. Also interesting is that despite 18 percent of consumers who took the survey blamed their WiFi equipment when service falters, as many as 39 percent of consumers would still call their ISP to assist with troubleshooting faults or problems. The survey also indicated that as many as 89 percent of consumers have completely unmanaged WiFi.

Around eight in 10 of consumers surveyed experienced at least some issues with their WiFi, with 31 percent experiencing occasional or frequent WiFi problems. As many as 19 percent of U.S. users, and 10 percent of U.K. users reported they are willing to pay their service provider or a third party technical services firm to manage their WiFi for them. According to the XCellAir report, the mean fee per month that consumers are willing to pay for managed WiFi in the United States was nearly $4 per month, with 6 percent willing to pay as much as $15 or more. In the United Kingdom, the mean fee was £1.49, with 6 percent willing to pay up to £4 per month.

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