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US marketing lies about 5G are counter-productive

New research from Strategy Analytics has found that US consumers are so confused by 5G marketing that almost a fifth of them think they already have it.

AT&T set the tone at the start of the year with its ridiculous ‘5GE’ initiative and the marketing departments of US operators have continued to over-promise on 5G ever since, as we recently discussed. It turns out that consistently lying to your customers isn’t always rewarded with their hard-earned cash an undying loyalty.

Research firm Strategy Analytics surveyed a bunch of US consumers and, while the majority of them reckon they know a thing or two about 5G, 17% of them think they’re actively using it. The accurate proportion is closer to 0.00017%. Even more hilarious is the finding that US Apple users think they’re the 5G users, despite the company not having even entered that market yet.

“one of the biggest challenges to overcome is ensuring consumers know what they already have – and how they will benefit from 5G in the future,” said Paul Brown of SA. “Reliable connectivity and guaranteed quality are key drivers, but consumers are not prepared to pay over the odds for this technology. OEM’s must find a way to drive adoption through a demonstration of need, and by virtue of this need, fixing consumer pain-points. Brand and wow-factors alone will only go so far.”

“Outside of Apple and Samsung, the battle for 5G will largely be in the mid-tier – smartphones with a retail price of $600 and below,” said SA’s Christopher Dodge. “A wave of new entrants for 5G from China, as well as new Nokia devices, could be also be damaging to brands such as LG and Motorola, who are most at risk given their low repeat purchase intentions in the 5G era.”

SA is too polite to say it, but the clear conclusion is that, once more, US marketing departments are jumping the gun when it comes to the next generation of cellular technology. Operators are so desperate to find something that will persuade their subscribers to upgrade and bolster their beleaguered ARPUs that they’re clinging to 5G like a life raft. They all need to go on holiday, have a drink and just chill out for a bit before they ruin it for everyone.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Michael V 28/11/2019 @ 4:58 pm

    The USA MNOs [Mobile Network Operators] have really made a mess over the Generations. They made consumers think HSPA+ is 4G & LTE is… Well 4G LTE! And now they’re making their customers think LTE-Advanced is 5G. Someone needs to reach the Companies the reality.

    HSPA+ is 3G. [3.9G]
    LTE is 4G.
    LTE-A is 4.9G.
    NR is 5G.

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