T-Mobile teamed up with research firm HarrisX on a new 5G Consumer Index meant to gather the thoughts of average Americans concerning the coming rollout of the next generation of mobile connectivity. The two found that most consumers seem to be excited for 5G and have their expectations set high. 80-percent of respondents who were able to give an answer as to whether they expect 5G to be an improvement over 4G LTE said that they see the newer standard giving their digital lives a boost. The survey also found a trend of more knowledgeable folks tending to be more excited about 5G. This is not a one-off affair; T-Mobile, citing listening to customers as its top priority, plans to take a new 5G Consumer Index quarterly.
Background: The Index turned up a number of different metrics regarding consumer opinion on 5G, but one thing is quite clear; there are a lot of people who barely have any idea what the technology is or what it will mean for them. Even so, more than half of the survey group knew what 5G was and had some idea of what to expect. Many were excited about the new technology and all of the benefits that it has over 4G LTE. The excitement went far beyond the mobile world, which is the primary arena of LTE. Many consumers couldn't wait to replace their traditional landline broadband with 5G, for example, or wanted to see smart energy grids and real-time speech translation. One big benefit of 5G that many are looking forward to is job creation. The new networking standard will require a lot of manpower to properly roll out and implement, and from there, even more workers will be needed to create and implement new services using it. On a similar note, almost all of those surveyed, across political party lines, felt very strongly that investing in tech innovation is critical to America's future.
Impact: T-Mobile has a lot to gain from listening to its customers opinions about 5G since it's one of the major carriers working to put the technology out into the world, but this Index goes beyond that. Some beneficial, actionable information about public opinion on 5G and technology in general can be gleaned here. For example, business owners and recruiters seeing that people are excited about jobs that will be created by 5G can begin reaching out to carriers to ask about product and network integration. The fact that close to half of America seems to have no idea what 5G is or what to think of it should be a good initiative for journalists and tech enthusiasts to spread the word to everybody they can. Things like this will build up consumer hype for 5G and related technologies, which will translate to more sales when they're rolled out. This, in turn, will fund further development, more jobs, and more research into how to enhance 5G as it's being rolled out and how to create a wider gamut of use cases for it that may not have been feasible with previous tech.