Report: What Americans Really Think About 5G Technology

An American public that is largely satisfied with the performance of 4G cellular networks remains skeptical about the benefits of next-generation 5G technology that is just now starting to get off the ground, according to a new report from the User Experience Strategies (UXS) group at Strategy Analytics.

The report, which investigates why consumers should shift to 5G, found that consumers need to be educated on the benefits of 5G to overcome their skepticism. Once benefits and use cases are explained to them, they express a strong interest in technology.

In particular, consumers say they would be interested in replacing their home internet service with 5G if it is reliable and can deliver the anticipated improvement in speed over 4G at a lower price. Interest is also high in how 5G can improve safety and the ability to connect to the network in congested areas or in fast-moving vehicles.

Because consumer satisfaction with the current 4G mobile networks is high, “operators must create compelling, differentiated 5G experiences if they want to motivate customers to adopt 5G plans,” said Kevin Nolan, VP User Experience Practice and author of the report. “Moreover, while understanding of the benefits of 5G is currently extremely limited, consumers already have concerns about 5G: largely centered around when 5G will be available where they live, how much more it will cost and what its impact will be on battery life. These questions must all be addressed to ensure mass adoption.”

Director of Syndicated Research UXIP Chris Schreiner added: “Since the technology evolution is about more than simply ‘faster upload and download speeds,’ consumers need more convincing that 5G is not simply just a marketing ploy to raise prices. Operators must educate consumers on the most compelling aspects of 5G and promote features such as the ability to solve existing pain points, especially connectivity improvements in high-network demand situations.”

Verizon switched on its 5G network in areas of Minneapolis and Chicago last month, providing consumers with their first taste of 5G Ultra Wideband service, and plans to roll out service in more than 30 cities this year. At the time, Verizon said, “customers in Chicago and Minneapolis should expect typical download speeds of 450 Mbps, with peak speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, and latency less than 30 milliseconds.”

Cities slated to receive Verizon 5G service in 2019 include Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC.

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