Almost half of Americans yawn over 4G LTE

Aug 24, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog
Motorola Atrix 4G
Motorola Atrix 4G

Who needs faster wireless networks? Nearly half of US consumers say they don't. A new survey finds that nearly half of U.S. consumers feel they just do not need 4G LTE. "Colossal power!" "Scorching speed!" "Take your office across the map!" Promotional slogans about 4G LTE devices from carriers and phone vendors about fourth-generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks apparently are not working. The survey from investment firm Piper Jaffray polled 3,000 individuals, results of which were released in a research note this week by analyst Christopher Larsen.

A total of 47% of US in the survey felt they have no need for 4G LTE- and only 15 percent of those polled thought 4G LTE is the best network technology.

The Piper Jaffray survey also found that consumers are ambivalent about which U.S. carrier has the best 4G LTE network. Among those polled, 51 percent indicated they don't know who has the best 4G network, or that all 4G networks are the same.

Apple released its first 4G LTE device earlier this year with the third-generation iPad. Apple's next is expected to also feature 4G LTE connectivity. "This model will almost certainly include 4G LTE wireless capabilities because it would be innovation suicide to not offer it," said VentureBeat recently. "Top-notch Android phones have been offering 4G data connections since before the 4S launched."

Interestingly, more enthusiasm according to poll results was shown toward the word iPhone than discussions of connectivity. The poll asked consumers about Apple's next iPhone, and found that 55 percent of those surveyed said they are considering purchasing it. Of the 55 percent contemplating the iPhone purchase, 44 percent said they would choose as their carrier; 29 percent said AT&T; 14 percent were for Sprint; and 13 percent for T-Mobile which is not expected to offer the new smartphone.

Larsen said that this mixed bag of carrier choice results is good news for them all. Verizon gains from brand recognition, but the fact that so many consumers don't have an opinion about the different 4G networks means that there's still time for other carriers to win more consumer attention. The poll's results generally show competition opportunities for all carriers regarding 4G LTE.

The poll also indicates an odd disconnect between a lack of marketing success in sparking 4G LTE awareness in consumers and actual technology advancements. Carriers are busy expanding their networks and providing more 4G LTE coverage; vendors are busy creating buzz about their devices' 4g LTE features at tradeshows and technology forums.

4G LTE delivers mobile network speeds faster than 3G networks. As of Q4 2011, thirty-eight mobile network operators worldwide had launched 4G LTE networks commercially. According to a Reportlinker.com study released this month, governments worldwide have held 4G spectrum auctions or are planning to in coming years, and many Tier 1 mobile operators are building and deploying commercial LTE services. Key drivers are higher data speeds, simplified all-IP networks and the commercial availability of over 200 4G LTE -enabled devices. For consumers, the 4G LTE technology will enable streaming, downloading, and uploading data and playing online games faster than before. With all this activity, nonetheless, the poll results have come as a rude reminder that American consumers are not, at least as of yet, really focused on 4G LTE.

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User comments : 17

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Vendicar_Decarian
1 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2012
The Phone Phad is pretty much over.
Bob_Kob
5 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2012
Well 3g is generally fast enough to play youtube videos, download the occasional app - so there really isn't much need for very high speed transfers.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2012
Capping data service makes it less attractive, less interesting to consumers. In turn, outfits that might advantageously use the higher bandwidth are discouraged from using it (or creating apps that might use it) because there's no market. So, consumers don't see that many apps that require high bandwidth. And so on.
Pkunk_
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2012
A total of 47% of US consumers in the survey felt they have no need for 4G LTE

This is a perfect case of the glass half empty . Most people don't know they need 4G until they actually experience it.
The ability to seamlessly stream video to their mobile devices in almost any location can only be understood when experienced.
Aloken
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2012
A total of 47% of US consumers in the survey felt they have no need for 4G LTE

This is a perfect case of the glass half empty . Most people don't know they need 4G until they actually experience it.
The ability to seamlessly stream video to their mobile devices in almost any location can only be understood when experienced.


Because seamlessly streaming videos from almost anywhere truly is what people need the most.
Modernmystic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2012
I'm personally getting rid of my smart phone next year when my contract is up. It's NOT worth the extra money when I consider what I actually use my phone for. I get unlimited voice, text, and data, for less than half the price I'm sold.

That being said it seems that younger people are willing to pay (what I consider) insane amounts of money for (what I consider) an extremely small increase in convenience.

My son is a perfect example. He just got a very expensive alienware gaming laptop when he could have got the same desktop for less than half the price or almost twice the desktop for the same price...

Is it really that important that it fits on your lap? I guess for him it is.
Eikka
not rated yet Aug 24, 2012
The ability to seamlessly stream video to their mobile devices in almost any location can only be understood when experienced.


IF it actually works anywhere. You have to remember that wireless is highly unpredictable, prone to congestion, and the actual bandwidth available per cell hasn't actually increased at all, and is largely unrelated to the final link speed.

And 4G uses more power than 3G, which uses more power than 2G, so there's a tradeoff of fast downloads, but you'll run out of battery.

Hell, my computer is hooked up with 3G and while it says I have a solid 7-8 Mbps link, you'll be lucky to get 50 kB/s out of it, and the latencies are horrible. In my experience the actual real world performance rates out of -any- type of wireless service, wifi or cellular, can't be assumed to maintain more than 10% the nominal speed over the long term because of interference.
panorama
not rated yet Aug 24, 2012
I'm still waiting for basic mobile service where I live. If 4g did come to my area it would be great, I'm currently a slave to the sattelite internet from Mr. Hughes...
enigmamatica
1 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2012
"Apple's next iPhone 5 is expected to also feature 4G LTE connectivity."

People, the iPhone 5 came out last year. It was called the iPhone 4S. Can no one count anymore? iPhone = iPhone 1, iPhone 3G = iPhone 2, iPhone 3GS = iPhone 3, iPhone 4 = iPhone 4 (OMG!), iPhone 4S = iPhone 5. If they introduce another iPhone with a stupid name instead of just "iPhone" like they all should have been (when was the last time you saw a MacBook Pro S or an iMac SG?) it would be the iPhone 6. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stop calling the next iPhone the iPhone 5 because that was so last year!!!

Also, it's clear by this study that people don't understand networks. If they did no one would use Verizon in the US because it's so slow and such old technology. Everyone would be on AT&T who has the fastest 3G and is using the best "4G" technology resulting in speeds superior to what Verizon and Spint can offer. People don't care because they are ignorant, like the people that are waiting for the iPhone 5.
NotAsleep
not rated yet Aug 24, 2012
The word "need" sure get's tossed around a lot... I'll bet 100% of people in the world don't need cell phones, much less 4G.

So long as people want it, there will be a market for it and people will likely get it, especially if 53% of the population (of 3,000? Could you pick a smaller sample size?) say they want it
dutchman
not rated yet Aug 24, 2012
Most people don't know they need 4G until they actually experience it.
The ability to seamlessly stream video to their mobile devices in almost any location can only be understood when experienced.


That is assuming you can afford the horrendous charges by most top-tier carriers! No thanks, no smart phone for me, 3G or otherwise. I can wait to see that video via WiFi on my iPod or Kindle.
corymp
not rated yet Aug 25, 2012
Capping data service makes it less attractive, less interesting to consumers. In turn, outfits that might advantageously use the higher bandwidth are discouraged from using it (or creating apps that might use it) because there's no market. So, consumers don't see that many apps that require high bandwidth. And so on.

I agree. overpriced data plans are driving people away. I mean really, an actual computer isn't too far away. I love my smart phone, but what can you do with 500mb? my plan is already $80 a month. I get unlimited on my computer for $100 including my phone package
chibajoe
not rated yet Aug 25, 2012
Whatever became of widespread WiMax??
Eikka
not rated yet Aug 25, 2012
Whatever became of widespread WiMax??


Nothing. There wasn't enough bandwidth for it.
wealthychef
not rated yet Aug 26, 2012
Oh yes, yawn, since half the people don't need it, then the other half say they DO need it. That's half of America saying they need faster internet. That's actually quite incredible if you ask me.
la7dfa
not rated yet Aug 26, 2012
In Norway we are offered 100GB 4G quota for a reasonable price (same price as for 30MB fibre or VDSL). This means it can replace ADSL or ADSL plus 3G for many people. A good offer in my opinion.

Even if 3G is "fast enough", you have to remember its a time shared service. The faster you can transfer, the more useres each cell will support. Thus 4G has a huge advantage to 3G.
Zenmaster
not rated yet Aug 26, 2012
4G offers more valuable features over 3G than speed - low latency (~30-40ms), less dropped calls during handovers, more users per cell, standards defining service interfaces which allow better compatibility across networks, and the network itself is now all IP based.