Cradlepoint announced findings from 2024 State of Connectivity report

Forty-five per cent of business leaders cite higher operational costs resulting from outages, as well as operational inefficiencies (41 per cent) and loss of talent (36 per cent)

Cradlepoint, part of Ericsson, the global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network and security solutions, today announced findings from its 2024 State of Connectivity report which found 92 per cent of Canadians rate the overall reliability of their organization’s network connectivity as good or very good. However, downtime continues to be a concern for Canadian businesses, with 53 per cent of respondents saying they experienced one to two hours of connectivity downtime per week on average in the last 12 months, due to fixed line/fibre network failure. Twenty-eight per cent indicated they experienced three to four hours of downtime per week.

The survey, which was conducted by Censuswide, indicates these outages have affected productivity and the ability for organizations to be competitive. Specific impacts cited by business leaders include higher operational costs (45 per cent), operational inefficiencies (41 per cent), and loss of talent (36 per cent). Looking ahead, respondents indicated key investment areas that should be made for private and public Canadian organizations to address the advancement of connectivity include stronger security (43 per cent), improved reliability of communication networks (40 per cent) and faster roll-out of 5G/advanced wireless networks to rural areas (38 per cent).

“Canadian organizations — no matter their size — rely on dependable connections to conduct business, and this year’s report is a key indicator of the issues and areas they should be considering as we look ahead,” said Jason Falovo, vice president and general manager, Canada at Cradlepoint. “While we continue to see 5G playing an important role in how businesses connect and compete, we also see how other areas are having an impact, such as security and sustainability. It’s important now more than ever that business leaders assess their strategies, work with the right technology partners, and ensure they’re planning for secure, reliable connections across their networks.”

Improving connectivity is on the minds of many business leaders. Looking ahead over the course of 12 months, 25 per cent of respondents expect their business revenue to grow by 10 to 14 per cent as a direct result of improved connectivity.

Coach Atlantic is the largest motorcoach transportation provider in Atlantic Canada, and leverages Cradlepoint’s expertise and technology. “Reliable connectivity has become paramount to our business,” said Ryan Cassidy, Director of People & Processes at Coach Atlantic. “Our riders expect nothing less than top-notch service from our drivers and the amenities we offer. To ensure we provide our customers with stable internet access, we continue to improve wireless technology across the fleet. With our most recent update, we also simplified processes for our drivers and staff, ensuring they can focus on their jobs and not have to worry about internet connectivity on the bus. We want our customers to enjoy their journey and travel with us again.”

5G: A priority for government and businesses

Respondents see the value 5G will bring to their organization, especially as it advances the competitiveness of Canadian businesses. Thirty-nine per cent of respondents indicated 5G will improve security; 38 per cent said it will offer expansion opportunities for business; and 37 per cent said it will improve bandwidth. Another 37 per cent said it will play a major role in infrastructure and transport.

While many organizations are already taking advantage of the benefits of 5G networks, it continues to be a focus for the government and service providers. With the Federal government’s plan to offer local licensing, there will be easier access to 5G spectrum for small internet service providers and innovative industries as well as rural, remote and Indigenous communities — specifically, 80 MHz of mid-band spectrum at 3900-3980 MHz for local shared and private 5G networks, and portions of the mmWave bands for local use. Three quarters of Canadian organizations (73 per cent) indicated they are planning for this.

However for some businesses, hurdles related to investing in 5G connectivity solutions remain. The top barriers reported by business leaders include complexity of change (30 per cent); perception of costs (27 per cent); concerns over the ability to secure connectivity across the enterprise (27 per cent); and 5G not being offered by a mobile carrier (27 per cent).

Securing connections

While security is always top of mind, as Canadian organizations leverage 5G and invest in new technologies such as IoT, it’s becoming even more important to combat bad actors who are developing new tactics and ways to compromise businesses. Over the last 12 months, 27 per cent of respondents said their business had been subject to a network security attack. Of those, 28 per cent indicated it was a major security breach that resulted in the loss of data.

Of those respondents who indicated their organization suffered an attack:

  • 40 per cent indicated their network security had been compromised by a data breach
  • 33 per cent indicated it was compromised by a denial-of-service attack
  • 33 per cent indicated it was compromised by phishing
  • 31 per cent indicated it was compromised by ransomware

Business leaders also indicated there is a gap in knowledge of some areas of their network. Seventeen (17) per cent of respondents said their network security had been breached as the result of a hacked IoT device, however almost nine out of 10 (89 per cent) were unsure of the number of IoT devices that were already deployed or are planned to be deployed in their organization in the next 12 months and beyond.

Additional findings:

  • Improving security awareness and education will be key for organizations moving forward. Less than half of organizations are using or are familiar with crucial endpoint and network security solutions including the following:
    • Multi-factor authentication (45 per cent)
    • Secure Access Service Edge/SASE (39 per cent)
    • Web browser isolation (38 per cent)
    • Mobile device management (37 per cent)
    • Zero trust network access (36 per cent)
    • Edge security (36 per cent)
  • Three-quarters (75 per cent) of Canadians believe the Canadian government is doing its part to ensure there is reliable connectivity across the country since the national outage in 2022. This number has increased from 72 per cent in 2023.
  • Sustainability is an important issue for organizations in Canada, with 76 per cent of respondents strongly agreeing or agreeing that it plays a key role in their organization’s short- and long-term goals and another 78 per cent noting that by increasing their sustainability efforts, they could help improve revenue.
    • In order to operate more efficiently and sustainably, however, 78 per cent of respondents agree that smarter facilities are required — for example, by incorporating IoT and connected devices.
    • Canadian businesses are making headway in this area, with many already using or planning to invest in technologies to reduce waste and make their facilities more efficient. In particular, 56 per cent of business leaders said they are already using cellular networks across the business to achieve this, with 41 per cent planning to invest within the next 36 months.
    • Additionally, 76 per cent of businesses have IoT devices in place, and 42 per cent are already using AI and Machine Learning, with another 53 per cent planning to invest in these over the next three years.

The full 2024 State of Connectivity Report for Canada can be found here:

Media assets:

Survey Methodology

The State of Connectivity report has been developed based on the findings of Censuswide research of over 500 respondents across various industries in Canada. Respondents were technology decision makers at senior management level and above at medium/large businesses (250+ employees).

The industries researched in this report include the following: Architecture, Engineering and Building; Education; Finance; Healthcare; HR; IT and Telecoms; Legal; Leisure and Hospitality; Manufacturing; Retail; Sales, Media and Marketing; Transportation and Logistics; Central Government; Local Government (including Public Transportation Services); Charity/Third Sector; and Emergency Services.

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