In college, I would often see people holding their mobile phones in the air, walking around searching for service. Everyone knew which buildings had the best coverage and which did not. When passing different rooms, you could determine the amount of coverage by the number of open laptops. During class registration periods or expected big announcements you would often see students leave for a moment to check their devices. Classes were 50 minutes long and without adequate coverage, students could easily miss out on important information.
Three years later and with increased application dependency, I see more people in retail, leisure, and/or office buildings searching for service. Around the world more than 63 percent of Gen Z, individuals born in the early 1990s and mid-2000s, said their smartphone would be difficult to live without and less than 45 percent were satisfied with their current speed of internet service at work, school, shops, or restaurants. With the number of devices connected to IP networks predicted to triple globally by 2021, Gen Z will require increased speed, coverage, and capacity in-buildings.
Now in the workforce, I observe many people listening to music while working on projects that require intense concentration to block out their coworker’s conference calls or desk meetings. Many people have a music playlist that decreases distractions and increases focus and drive during crunch periods. When momentum is high, the last thing someone wants to see is their music application buffering. At least once a day, 69 percent of Gen Z listens to music and 47 percent said it would be extremely difficult to live without. Millennials, the generation prior to Gen Z, listen to 75.1 percent more music daily when compared to baby boomers. Global mobile data traffic is predicted to increase seven times from 2016 to 2021, requiring more capacity to support the activities Gen Z and Millennials find it difficult to live without.
It is clear smart devices have become highly integrated in the lives of Gen Z and Millennials. From managing finances to research and email, smart devices are like personal assistants – everything is a click or question away. With ~80 percent of mobile traffic originating or terminating within a building, coupled with the demand these two generations are placing on the network, in-building wireless coverage and capacity have become as important as some of our daily needs.
For more information about how Gen Z and Millennials are impacting connectivity and technology please click the articles below:
- Gen Z: The Always on Generation
- Perspectives on Millennials: How are millennials shaping the networks of tomorrow?