If you could only keep one product or service while staying at home during a pandemic, what would it be?
For most American consumers (45%), that one thing is their smartphone, according to a survey of 5,000 people by Global Wireless Solutions. Respondents’ second most-popular choice was the PC (19%), followed by streaming services like Netflix (12%), their television (12%) and their car (7%). In good news for livers everywhere, 2% of people would choose to have alcohol above all else.
With the COVID-19 pandemic radically reshaping how much people rely on technology to stay in touch, learn and work, GWS’ survey asked U.S. smartphone users about videoconferencing applications, smartphone replacement plans and how the pandemic is impacting tech use.
“The data shows a dynamic story of the products and technologies Americans are turning to during the pandemic, as well as rapidly evolving priorities and preferences shaped by more time living, working and communicating from home,” GWS said.
Among the other findings:
-Users reported high levels of satisfaction with their wireless carriers. GWS said that 84% of survey respondents reported that their carrier was meeting their mobile communications needs “always” or “most of the time.”
“When needs are further broken down by network coverage, voice calling quality and reliability, and data throughput and reliability, 80% or more of the respondents felt that their carrier met each of these needs most or all of the time,” GWS noted. In addition, 76% of rural and suburban voters said that if they had the option to switch, they would stick with their current carrier, while only about 51% of urban residents said the same.
-72% of respondents had not purchased a new smartphone so far this year, and half of them said it was because they were happy with their current device. Meanwhile, 38% of those surveyed planned to buy a new smartphone in the second half of this year, 26% said they would get a new one next year and 11% planned to wait until at least 2022.
-When asked for a single mobile phone capability that consumers would prioritize for at-home telework, the top choice was voice calling (33%), followed by texting (28%), then video calling and conferencing (20%).
“The coronavirus pandemic has driven sweeping and most likely enduring shifts in the technologies and tools that individuals consider most essential for remote work,” said Dr. Paul Carter, founder and CEO of GWS. “Our survey not only captures how essential the smartphone has become to consumers’ day-to-day lives, but offers instructive insights on changes in consumers’ communications preferences and habits that have occurred during this unprecedented time.”
In other test news:
–OpenSignal took a look at 5G user experiences around the world. In short: U.S. 5G speeds aren’t leading the pack, but the use of low-band spectrum means that the U.S. has a healthy 5G footprint overall. Read the full story here.
–NTS has put $700,000 into expanding electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic interference (EMC/EMI) and environmental testing at its massive Silicon Valley lab. The expanded capabilities leverage multiple combination temperature/vibration testing chambers and expanded automotive EMI/EMC testing, among others. The company said that the expansion comes during a pandemic in which many testing facilities are contracting or closing.
“Even during the pandemic, we have had multiple customers in our immediate area require these chambers for their testing, so we are thrilled to provide this key service and investment at a significant time,” said Anuj Kumar, GM at NTS Silicon Valley.
–Keysight Technologies notched another couple of 5G test wins: Taiwanese original design manufacturer Compal will use Keysight’s UXM 5G test platform to validate Standalone and Nonstandalone 5G products; and global manufacturing solutions provider Jabil will also use the UXM 5G platform for 5G device testing across telecom, smart phone, industrial IoT and healthcare products.
– Bureau Veritas has launched 5G device certification in the U.S., at a facility in California. Read the full story here.
–Spirent Communications’ Spirent Federal Systems subsidiary was chosen by an unnamed major U.S. military agency for anechoic chamber testing related to preventing interference to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Spirent’s GSS9790 Multi-Output, Multi-GNSS RF Constellation Wave-Front Simulator will be used as the signal generator attached to multiple transmission antennas for broadcast into the chambers, Spirent said. “Within this design, the antennas are structurally distributed to represent the correct arrival vectors of the simulated satellite signals on the device under test, creating the most realistic test environment possible. In addition, the GSS9790 supports interference sources located anywhere in the chamber to imitate different threat scenarios,” the test company added.
“Interference can threaten GNSS signals in multiple ways. We recognize the need for controlled, repeatable conditions to combat these threats. The GSS9790 delivers all the tools needed to successfully mitigate them,” explained Jeff Martin, VP Sales at Spirent.