The Small Office/Home Office Segment, an Untapped Telecom Market Opportunity

telecommute cartoon

*image source CartoonStock.com

Who works from home or knows someone who does at least once a week? I do! And apparently it’s not just me. In Q4’10 Compete conducted a survey targeting telecom shoppers and asked them how often they worked from home and found that 1 in 3 employed telecom shoppers worked from home at least once a week. And as reflected in the chart below, 69% of these shoppers who work from home shopped for internet services specifically because of their work requirements. With that said, it is fair to say there is a large percentage of a people working from home that have different needs to satisfy when shopping for telecom services.

which if any telecommunications services have you shopped for specifically because of your work requirements

So what does this mean? Well, with no current telecom service offers or marketing efforts targeting this group commonly referred to as the small office/home office (SOHO) segment, it screams OPPORTUNITY. This newly identified SOHO segment has simpler needs than the small business segment, but also differs from traditional telecom consumer needs, and no one is currently addressing them. Compete’s Q4’10 survey also found that 54% of telecom shoppers who work from home found service reliability more important than price! A less price sensitive market segment… sounds ideal to me!

While nothing has come to market yet, Cox Communications recently announced that they are aware of this segment and are exploring SOHO market opportunities. So does this mean that Cox is going to lead the industry in targeting this valuable segment?  Or will a competitor catch on to this market opportunity and beat them to the punch?  Regardless of who is first, with the highly competitive nature of the telecom industry and an expanding SOHO segment, it’s safe to say that it is only a matter of time before all providers try to take advantage of this valuable market opportunity.