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53% of consumers won’t pay extra for 5G

JD Power
(Image credit: JD Power)

According to a survey from JD Power – the US-based consumer research company –  phone customers in the US are becoming aware of the benefits of 5G, but more than half (53%) say that they are unwilling to pay extra for the additional benefits that 5G delivers.

In a survey conducted in December 2020, JD Power surveyed 2,620 adults in the US, asking them about their views on 5G, and it found that a third of customers (36%) didn’t know which carrier provided the best 5G, whilst 20% said they didn’t know a thing about 5G.

But the survey also found that 42% of people now have a rough understanding of the benefits of 5G, and 30% of people said they would be willing to switch providers if they had a clear lead in 5G.

"In many ways, the current consumer enthusiasm for 5G is building in spite of the best efforts of wireless carriers."

JD Power survey.

“In many ways, the current consumer enthusiasm for 5G is building in spite of the best efforts of wireless carriers,” the survey said. “After years of touting the promise of lightning fast download speeds, and teasing all manner of 5G precursors, including 4G LTE being called '5Ge' ... wireless providers now face a marketplace in which many consumers really don’t understand the value of what they’re getting in a 5G offering.”

Widespread consumer confusion

However, despite these depressing statistics for wireless carriers in the US, there is a silver lining, in the shape of a potential opportunity, which, if they had done their jobs properly, would have diminished by a greater scale than it has thus far.

“The upside of the widespread consumer confusion over 5G is that the leadership position in the space is still very much up for grabs,” the report said. “More than one‐third of wireless customers say they do not know which carrier has the best 5G service.  

“While that could create opportunities, carriers are going to need to do a better job conveying the value of 5G. Indeed, each of the major carriers have claimed some manner of “first” or “best” 5G network.”

Following complaints to the National Advertising Division (NAD) of BBB National Programs, both T-Mobile and Verizon were ordered to discontinue certain claims they were making around 5G, which has simply added to the confusion for consumers.

Dan Oliver

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.