Survey Reveals Obstacles Frustrating U.S. Cellphone Users’ Shift to 5G

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The transition to 5G has been a hot topic in the realm of wireless communication. A recent survey by Speedtest has shed light on the challenges faced by cellphone users in the United States when trying to embrace this new technology. While the survey demonstrates that a majority of 3G/4G users are interested in adopting 5G, technical obstacles are impeding their transition.

A Close Look at the Survey

Conducted in October 2021, the survey aimed to gauge general cellular customer satisfaction, with a particular focus on 5G. The researchers obtained initial feedback from 2000 respondents, including 1364 users who have experienced our 5G speed test and 636 individuals who have yet to delve into the world of 5G.

Why Some Users Are Reluctant to Adopt 5G

The survey revealed several reasons that deter 3G/4G users from transitioning to 5G. Here are the most common obstacles:

35.2% Lack a 5G-Ready Phone

A significant portion of respondents (35.2%) expressed that their lack of a 5G-ready phone was a barrier to adoption. Users who are under contract tend to wait longer to upgrade their devices, as they prioritize reliability and are deterred by the higher prices associated with newer phones. Conversely, early adopters are more inclined to upgrade every 18 to 24 months. To facilitate the transition, flexible and affordable 5G phone upgrade deals are crucial for both groups.

29.0% Have No 5G Coverage in Their Area

Nearly 30% of respondents reported that the absence of 5G coverage in their area was a key obstruction to their adoption of this technology. The potential for widespread 5G adoption increases significantly once coverage extends to these regions. Cellular operators must prioritize the enhancement of 5G rollout, particularly in smaller cities and towns, to meet the growing demand.

6.3% Lack Service Providers with 5G Support

A small percentage of users (6.3%) revealed that their service providers do not offer 5G support in their area. To encourage these users to switch to 5G-ready providers, it is essential to provide them with better incentives and the necessary encouragement.

18.7% Are Satisfied with Existing 3G/4G Service

Interestingly, a significant number of respondents (18.7%) expressed satisfaction with their current 3G/4G service providers and saw no need to upgrade to 5G. These users remain content despite the absence of 5G licenses held by their service providers.

In summary, a staggering 70.5% of 3G/4G users are confronted with technical barriers that are preventing them from adopting 5G. It is crucial for service providers to take charge of resolving these obstacles.

Additional Insights from the Survey

The survey also unveiled a couple of other noteworthy findings:

8.4% Find 5G Price Plans Expensive

While some users (8.4%) voiced concerns about the cost of 5G price plans, this factor does not significantly deter adoption. Affordable 5G plans, like T-Mobile’s “Essentials” and Cricket Wireless’s “Unlimited,” offer good value and can help alleviate these concerns.

6.4% Have Health Concerns

A small percentage of respondents (6.4%) expressed health concerns regarding 5G technology. However, it is worth noting that such concerns appear to be less prevalent. Industry studies on 5G safety have likely played a significant role in reducing these worries.


The survey demonstrates the high demand for 5G and emphasizes the need for collaboration within the industry to overcome the technical obstacles. Service providers must prioritize the urgent and robust rollout of 5G networks while also offering enticing phone deals. Regulatory bodies should monitor the challenges faced by providers, including pandemic-related delays and supply chain issues, and offer support wherever necessary. With the combined efforts of all stakeholders, the seamless adoption of 5G technology is well within reach.