A study – driven by T-Mobile and conducted by HarrisX – is planned to be produced quarterly, and today the companies unveiled results from the inaugural report. It found more than half of Americans are already aware of 5G; they’re excited about new innovations 5G will bring; and they believe 5G will create new jobs. The study also found a large majority of Americans expect 5G to impact their personal lives, rural communities, the economy, business and government.
“Consumer sentiment around tech innovation and 5G, in particular, is widely positive, with big expectations for impact on job creation, business, and various facets of people’s personal lives like healthcare management in the near future,” said Dritan Nesho, chief researcher and CEO of HarrisX. “Expectations are high, with over 2 in 3 Americans believing 5G will become a reality by 2020, which will require significant investment by the public and private sector to get there.”
In the inaugural study’s findings, more than half (57 percent) of Americans said they are aware of 5G and, of those who are aware, most (90 percent) believe 5G will be better than 4G/LTE. 64 percent of Americans who are aware expect 5G to be “widely available” before 2020, and respondents find improvements like reliability (93 percent), speed (92 percent), and wider coverage (91 percent) to be the most appealing aspects of 5G.
Most (61 percent) believe that 5G will be easy for consumers to adopt while 30 percent of consumers believe that the cost of upgrading and difficulty in learning how to use a new technology will make 5G difficult to adopt. One in three Americans view the United States as the global leader in 5G, with 28 percent undecided, and the rest divided among an array of other countries.
“While the other guys are talking about ‘their’ 5G networks and what ‘they’ will do with them, we’re asking people what THEY want,” said John Legere, Chief Executive Officer at T-Mobile.
The study also found that Americans almost universally agree (94 percent) that it is critical for the U.S to invest in technological innovation. Tech innovation is believed to have widespread benefits beyond the technology industry- both as a job creator and also having the potential to address issues related to emergency services, manufacturing, transportation, and education. Two out of three respondents believe that technology innovation creates jobs. 92 percent of respondents agreed that tech innovation creates new STEM education opportunities; 91 percent agreed that it creates new employment opportunities; and 91 percent agreed that it improves the quality of education.
The importance of investing in technology innovation is agreed upon across party lines: 94 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats believe that it’s important to invest in technology innovation. Men (63 percent) and older Americans (59 percent of those 55+) were more likely to say that it’s “very” important to invest in technology innovation.