The new 5G technology is rolling out across the United States for faster data wherever we are on our smartphones. But, how are people feeling about the new technology? Are they excited, worried about anything, and do they have the right devices to use 5G?
That’s what we asked them about in this consumer study.
The entire study of 100 respondents was conducted through Voxpopme’s Influence market research online community (MROC) of on-demand consumers.
In the platform, we combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study and the results were neatly packaged for me in one dashboard.
On the quantitative side, we asked:
- Are you excited for 5G technology to launch?
On the qualitative side, we asked:
- What is your perception of the new 5G technology?
Here’s a quick highlight reel of responses:
The quant results
In the study, the majority of respondents – 78 percent – said they are looking forward to 5G technology.
The qual results
For the qual questions, respondents recorded a quick video message – selfie-style, directly from their phones.
In all, the automatic sentiment analysis showed that 44 percent of all statements were on the positive side, with 32 percent being negative and 24 percent being neutral.
Unlike the quant questions, this sentiment analysis is pulled from what respondents actually said in their video responses.
The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of what some of the most mentioned topics were.
I like to review the theme explorer first to get an idea of what trends I’m seeing. The Word Cloud is my next step. Then I like to skim through the automatic transcripts and each response. Let’s see what respondents said.
The qual answers also reflected the quant response that people are looking forward to 5G rolling out.
People are looking forward to faster speeds to make internet activities – including video calls, sending of files, and downloading of images – easier and faster.
“I’m always excited when there’s an update to technology to make things more convenient,” said Rachael, 30, of Atlanta. “Especially with 5G – everything’s going to move a lot quicker.”
“I think 5G has a lot of potential,” said James, 32, of Deerfield. “It’s crazy how much more improved the 5G technology is when you just compare it to its 4G or LTE peers that are out there in the marketplace. And it just is really neat to see how they’re pushing the limits with technology to get even faster speeds and for things to work even better.”
He said he’s heard some potentially concerning things but believes they are false.
Several consumers commented that they are hopeful that it will improve internet speed, but don’t know whether or not it will work or even be safe.
Heids, 28, of Superior, said she’s wondering if it will work well when everyone is trying to use it.
“So I’m not that excited or even looking forward to 5G,” she said. “Hopefully, it actually works.”
“We need to make sure all areas get the same kind of internet speed,” said. Haley, 36, of Kingsport.
“I’m just concerned that this whole 5G experience just doesn’t seem to be safe,” said Lydia, 38, Barrington. “I really have a lot of mixed feelings about it. So I guess I have to see how it plays out and hopefully it’s really safe and it’s nothing dangerous at all.”
Gwendolyn, 24, of Rochester, said she’s not looking forward to 5G at all because it’s been such a headache with where the towers are being placed.
“5G technology is really starting to make me nervous because it seems like once we actually get it going, it’s going to interfere with many major things in our lives such as airlines, for example, or network systems are going to go down or nobody’s going to be able to really use it because it’s not going to be at full strength,” said Mark, 41, of Chicago.
Many consumers did mention recent news coverage of 5G and airports.
What about getting new devices?
To use the 5G technology, people have to have a 5G device, like the iPhone 13, but Christel, 42, of Forestville, said that she only has a 4G phone and has no intention of upgrading.
Some consumers said they already have the right devices and having to upgrade devices was not a topic brought up all that much.
Where to next?
I have to say I was surprised by the number of less-than-positive comments in the video surveys. After seeing that the majority of respondents checked “yes” I’m looking forward to 5G, I was expecting an overwhelmingly positive reaction in the video responses. And there certainly were with 44 percent of the words spoken being of positive sentiment. The rest were automatically categorized as neutral or negative based on what people said. And the negative comments, concerns, and questions certainly came through.
That’s an opportunity for follow-up. Try to address the concerns through marketing, public relations, and other outreach campaigns. Then run another campaign using a market research online community to see if the needle of public perception moved.