Forty-two percent more consumers accessed 5G networks in 2022 than in 2021, says GWS
The results from Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) latest study about 5G usage demonstrate that for the first time, more than half of U.S. consumers accessed 5G networks in 2022. Specifically, GWS found that this number grew from just 43% in 2021 to 61% this year.
“This means that 42% more consumers accessed 5G networks in 2022 than in 2021, a significant increase compared to the single digit rise in 5G access of just 7% the year before (2020-2021),” the firm provided in a statement.
Th research, which combines data from independent consumer polling and insights based on over 50 million daily data points, also showed that every age group is now accessing 5G networks at higher rates, likely due to how pervasive this coverage has become in the U.S. 2022 saw “sharp jumps” in access among older generations, with nearly 50% of those consumers accessing 5G networks. Gen Z, those aged between 18-24 years old, saw their access rates rise from 50% in 2021 to 68% in 2022, and those aged over 55 saw an almost twofold increase from 25% to 46%.
GWS pointed out that while 5G coverage now reaches 83% of consumers across urban areas, which is an impressive increase of more than 35% from 2020 to 2022, it is really the growth seen in suburban and rural areas worth celebrating.
5G coverage by location
“This growth [in urban areas] has been dwarfed by the explosion in coverage outside of urban areas, which has grown to 76% in suburban areas (nearly double 2020 coverage rates) and 65% in rural areas (more than doubling the coverage in 2020),” the firm stated. “This reflects a closing digital divide as more areas gain access to the technology around the country.”
In addition to the widespread expansion of 5G coverage and access, the survey also indicated an increased excitement for the technology, with 61% of consumers saying that they knowingly purchased a new phone with 5G access, and nearly a third stating they did because of its 5G capability. Further, once these phones are in the consumers’ hands, they are spending more and more time on them, particularly on social media, gaming and lifestyle apps. GWS’ data shows that consumers with 5G smartphones saw their average minutes of daily use reach 312 per day, which is 37 minutes higher than those using older devices and equates to a staggering nine days more of usage a year.
“It’s clear from our data that 5G has not only arrived, but it is now well and truly part of the fabric of our everyday lives,” said Paul Carter, CEO, Global Wireless Solutions. “While there is still work to be done to ensure every inch of the country can access the network, it is encouraging to see significant improvements in previously uncovered areas and among various age groups.”