Survey Reveals Challenges Hindering U.S. Cellphone Users from Adopting 5G

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A recent survey conducted by Speedtest reveals that over two-thirds of 3G/4G users in the U.S. express a desire to adopt 5G but encounter technical obstacles hindering their transition.

Conducted in October 2021, the survey focused on general cellular customer satisfaction, with a specific emphasis on 5G. Initial responses totaled 2000, with 1364 from users of our 5G speed test and 636 from users yet to adopt 5G.

Among the reasons cited by 3G/4G users for not transitioning to 5G:

  1. 35.2% lack a 5G-ready phone:
    • Contract-bound users wait longer to upgrade phones due to increased device reliability and higher device prices.
    • Early adopters may upgrade every 18 to 24 months, emphasizing the need for flexible, affordable 5G phone upgrade deals.
  2. 29.0% face no 5G coverage in their area:
    • Future adoption is likely once 5G coverage extends to their location.
    • Cellular operators must enhance 5G rollout, especially in smaller cities and towns.
  3. 6.3% have service providers without 5G support:
    • Users lack a 5G-ready operator in their area.
    • Encouragement and better incentives may prompt users to switch to 5G-ready providers.
  4. 18.7% satisfied with existing 3G/4G service:
    • Users content with current service providers without 5G licenses.

In summary, 70.5% of 3G/4G users face technical barriers preventing 5G adoption, primarily within the control of service providers.

Other Findings:

  • 8.4% find 5G price plans too expensive:
    • While a concern, it does not significantly deter adoption.
    • Affordable 5G plans, such as T-Mobile’s “Essentials” and Cricket Wireless’s “Unlimited,” offer good value.
  • 6.4% express health concerns:
    • Health concerns over 5G appear less prominent.
    • Industry studies on 5G safety may contribute to reduced concerns.

In conclusion, there is a substantial market eager to adopt 5G, requiring industry collaboration to overcome technical obstacles. Providers must strategize urgent and robust 5G network rollouts and offer enticing phone deals. Regulatory bodies should monitor and assist providers facing challenges like pandemic-related delays and supply chain issues.