Research from Global Wireless Solutions, a provider of mobile network benchmarking, analysis and testing, shows that many rural residents are confused about 5G and whether it is available from their carrier or whether their device is capable of using the technology. The rural 5G awareness study was conducted by Toluna for Global Wireless Solutions.
The FCC recently adopted rules for the 5G Fund for Rural America, which will make $9 billion available to cover some of the costs of deploying service to rural areas that lack high-speed mobile service, as Telecompetitor reported.
According to the GWS 2020 Consumer Survey, nearly half (45%) of rural residents didn’t know if their carrier offered 5G and more than a third (35%) were unsure if their current phone supported 5G.
Yet many of those surveyed thought they would benefit from the technology in the following areas:
- Faster data speeds, cited by 56%
- Telehealth/telemedicine, 21.7%
- Public safety, emergency communications, 18.4%
- Smart cities, 18.3%
- Remote learning, 17.8%
Despite the expected benefits, nearly half (48%) of those GWS surveyed said they would not pay more for the technology and nearly one third (32%) don’t expect to see the benefits until 2022, if ever.
The data is from an online rural 5G awareness study commissioned by Global Wireless Solutions and conducted by Toluna. The sample size exceeded 5,000. Data was collected between June 16 and July 3, 2020.