Mobile Devices

Almost half of current US broadband users interested in 5G

02 October 2019

How 5G ranks in terms of importance among consumers. Source: Parks Associates How 5G ranks in terms of importance among consumers. Source: Parks Associates As fixed wireless service heats up due to the increased deployment of 5G networks across the U.S., new research from Parks Associates finds that 40% of current U.S. broadband users are interested in 5G fixed wireless broadband.

Although 5G is in its infancy, already 33% of U.S. broadband households cite some level of familiarity with the technology. However, more work is needed to increase consumer knowledge, according to Parks Associates.

"More than half of U.S. broadband households are unfamiliar with 5G, despite aggressive marketing from mobile service providers," said Craig Leslie, senior research analyst at Parks Associates. "Limited service availability is impacting consumer awareness; however, once the technology is explained to them, almost half are interested in replacing their fixed-line internet service with 5G home services."

Because of the limited availability of 5G and the spotty coverage in cities where the technology has been deployed, the technology will not replace 4G LTE or fixed wireless services anytime soon, the market research firm said. However, 5G providers will continue to push the technology because they see it as a significant influencer, even if consumers are unwilling to pay more for 5G.

"Beyond higher speed, consumers are failing to see the value of 5G over their current subscriptions — only 13% of smartphone users are willing to pay higher subscriptions fees for 5G mobile services," Leslie said. "Operators will need to increase consumer understanding through better communicating 5G use cases and benefits in order to convince them to upgrade services."

Parks Associates also found that 31% of current U.S. broadband households consider 5G availability to be very important when choosing a new mobile service provider and that only 20% of U.S. broadband households purchased a smartphone in the first quarter of 2019, down from 40% of households in the first quarter of 2016.

Learn more about Parks Associates' findings with its Technology Market Assessment: 5G Network Services.

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