Only 18% of U.S. consumers have heard of and understand the difference between the 5G network band types such as mid-band or high-band (Millimeter Wave) currently available in the U.S., according to the latest Mobile Connectivity Report from NPD’s Connected Intelligence.
The report also showed that the majority of U.S. consumers are aware of the benefits of 5G and the promise of super-fast data transmissions that enable superior multimedia streaming and enhanced gaming experiences on mobile devices. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers are aware of 5G networks, according to the research.
Generally, Android users have a higher level of awareness of the varieties of 5G networks currently available in the U.S. In fact, 45% of Android users, compared to 40% of iOS users ,are aware that there are different 5G network options, the study found. Despite the lack of knowledge around various 5G network types, 2 out of 3 consumers currently report interest in purchasing a 5G-enabled smartphone. Based on the report findings, iOS users show higher levels of interest (40% extremely or very interested) than Android users (33% extremely or very interested).
“5G-enabled Android devices have been available to consumers, which may explain their increased awareness of 5G flavors, while iOS users have not yet had the opportunity to upgrade to 5G. Given the stronger interest from iOS users, a 5G-enabled iPhone could help drive adoption” said Brad Akyuz, executive director and industry analyst for NPD Connected Intelligence. “On the other hand, the current premature state of 5G networks in terms of speed and coverage will continue to be a barrier in the mass adoption of 5G smartphones. 5G smartphone volumes are poised to increase as networks improve and 5G smartphone prices gradually decrease.”
The results of the NPD Group Connected Intelligence Mobile Connectivity Report are based on consumer panel research that reached 5,100 U.S. cellphone users from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds.
According to a previous survey by PwC, almost 80% of Americans who live in urban areas are familiar with 5G, an increase from 65% a year ago. In rural areas, awareness grew from 49% to 76% during that period, the firm said. PwC also found that half the survey respondents would pay extra for 5G, with most agreeing that a $15 per month fee would be acceptable.
More than 33% of U.S. broadband households cited some level of familiarity with 5G technology and more than 40% are interested in 5G, according to previous research from Parks Associates.