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 consumers 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 iPhone 5 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 iPhone 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 Verizon 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.
Explore further: FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless