A recent survey conducted by Speedtest uncovers the challenges faced by cellphone users in the U.S. when it comes to adopting 5G. Despite expressing a keen interest in the technology, over two-thirds of 3G/4G users encounter technical hurdles that hinder their transition.
The Survey: Exploring Cellular Customer Satisfaction and 5G
In October 2021, the survey conducted by Speedtest sought to gauge general customer satisfaction with cellular services, with a specific focus on 5G. The survey collected responses from 2000 participants, including 1364 users of our 5G speed test and 636 users who had yet to adopt 5G.
Reasons for Not Transitioning to 5G: Technical Barriers
The survey revealed several reasons cited by 3G/4G users that prevent them from transitioning to 5G. These reasons are as follows:
35.2% Lack a 5G-Ready Phone
A significant portion of users (35.2%) stated that they do not have a 5G-ready phone. Contract-bound users often wait longer to upgrade their phones due to the reliability and higher prices of newer devices. On the other hand, early adopters may upgrade their phones every 18 to 24 months, necessitating flexible and affordable 5G phone upgrade deals.
29.0% Face No 5G Coverage in Their Area
Nearly one-third of the respondents (29.0%) reported having no 5G coverage in their area. They expressed a willingness to adopt 5G once the coverage extends to their location. Cellular operators need to prioritize enhancing 5G rollout, especially in smaller cities and towns, to address this issue.
6.3% Have Service Providers Without 5G Support
A small percentage of users (6.3%) lack a 5G-ready service provider in their area. Encouragement and better incentives may prompt them to switch to 5G-ready providers.
18.7% Satisfied with Existing 3G/4G Service
Interestingly, a notable portion of users (18.7%) reported being satisfied with their existing 3G/4G service and do not feel the need to transition to 5G at the moment.
In summary, a significant majority (70.5%) of 3G/4G users face technical barriers that prevent them from adopting 5G. These barriers primarily reside within the control of service providers.
Other Findings: Price Concerns and Health Considerations
The survey also shed light on other noteworthy findings:
8.4% Find 5G Price Plans Too Expensive
While a small percentage of users (8.4%) find 5G price plans to be expensive, this concern does not significantly deter adoption. Affordable 5G plans, such as T-Mobile’s “Essentials” and Cricket Wireless’s “Unlimited,” offer good value and can appeal to cost-conscious users.
6.4% Express Health Concerns
Surprisingly, only a small fraction of users (6.4%) expressed health concerns regarding 5G. This suggests that health concerns related to 5G may be less prominent, possibly due to industry studies addressing the safety of the technology.
Collaboration Needed to Overcome Technical Obstacles
In conclusion, the survey reveals a substantial market of cellphone users in the U.S. who are eager to adopt 5G. To facilitate this adoption, the industry needs to collaborate and strategize urgent and robust 5G network rollouts. Additionally, service providers should offer enticing phone deals to incentivize users to make the transition. Regulatory bodies should also closely monitor and assist providers facing challenges such as pandemic-related delays and supply chain issues. By working together, the industry can overcome the technical barriers and enable a seamless transition to 5G for all users.