“Mom, why is the internet SOOOO SLOW?!”If you’re like me with a couple of teenagers living at home, you’ve probably heard this more times than you can count. They stream, they surf, they jam and they get frustrated when their 35 open apps don’t run flawlessly. But the future is coming and the days of loading screens and frozen devices are hopefully numbered.
The 5th generation of wireless technology, referred to as 5G by the telecom industry, promises to change our world. The claims by industry leaders are impressive and expansive – self-driving cars, telemedicine, the Internet of Everything, your whole house and entire life connected by the super-fast and ultra-reliable wireless internet. Consumers are hearing the hype, but what are they thinking about all of it?
Consumers are Interested
In a consumer survey conducted by Valassis, 45% said they intend to purchase a 5G device in the next 12 months. This percentage is higher than any other technology surveyed, including connected home devices, smart TVs and wearables. And the interest is consistent across income groups – 53% of consumers with a household income between $45K – $75K and 49% with an income over $75K reported an intent to purchase 5G. Parents of teens also reported a high level of interest, with 65% of them planning a purchase. If you have those before-mentioned whining teenagers at home, this probably comes as no surprise to you!
They are Watching the Ads
Advertising increases consumer interest in switching – 48% of consumers planning a switch say that they have seen ads online and 47% say they have seen ads in the mail that have increased their interest in switching providers. And 40% say they can be swayed by advertising promotions and offers to switch service providers. Clearly advertising deals and promotions are an important part of acquiring these 5G shoppers – who doesn’t love feeling like they’re getting a good deal? But consumers are using advertising for more than just price point shopping. Third-nine percent of consumers said online ads help them learn about new technology. Thirty-two percent said mailed ads get them interested in purchasing a new technology product, plus they use them to research for more information when considering the purchase of a new technology product.
Interested Consumers are Streamers and Switchers
As fast and reliable wireless becomes more available at home with 5G fixed wireless solutions, it is likely we will see TV cord-cutting trends continue and the rise of broadband cord-cutting. Thirty-eight percent of the consumers surveyed said they have been streaming more movies and TV on their wireless phones over the last year. Forty-seven percent said they are interested in cutting the cord and eliminating paid TV services.
5G isn’t quite ready for wide-scale consumer activations, but it’s never too early to start driving awareness and education. Twenty-two percent of recent wireless provider switchers said they take a month or longer to research and choose new technology. An omnichannel approach, which includes integrated print and digital tactics, can help consumers be ready to act the moment 5G becomes available in their neighborhood.
For my teens, 5G can’t come soon enough. They have already started asking for 5G wireless devices and instead of waiting for 5G to come to us, they have suggested we move to where it’s available – and that’s the power of the 5G promise.