3 in 10 Consumers Plan 4G Purchase

January 10, 2011

nielsen-4g-phone-purchase-plans-jan11.gifAlmost three in 10 US consumers surveyed said they were planning on buying a 4G device within the next 12 months, according to new data from The Nielsen Company. While there’s not yet data to suggest how many of those subscribers will actually purchase a 4G device in the next year, executing a purchase contract is a simple matter.

2 in 5 Consumers Understand 4G

nielsen-4g-awareness-and-understanding-jan11.gifAbout one in five consumers are not aware of 4G; of the remaining four that have heard of 4G, only two claim to understand it. Nielsen says this reflects general industry confusion about 4G.

Up until recently, the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) official definition of 4G was a standard that no US carriers met. Under pressure, the ITU revised their definition of 4G to include any technology that was a ‘meaningful improvement’ from 3G. Under that definition, all three US 4G technologies (WiMAX, LTE & HSPA+) now qualify.

Consumer Understanding of 4G Varies

nielsen-4g-consumer-detailed-understanding-jan11.gifWhen asked to define 4G, 54% of those that responded selected the original ITU definition: mobile data speeds of more than 100 MBits/s, even though no carrier worldwide currently reaches speeds that high. Also of note, 27% of respondents thought that the iPhone 4 was 4G (it’s not), which Nielsen says is likely due to the naming conventions of the last several iPhone devices: iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS & iPhone 4.
In addition, a number of respondents selected slightly ambiguous definitions of 4G.

For example, 13% said T-Mobile Android phones meet the definition of 4G. However, although several of T-Mobile’s new Android phones are HSPA+ (the MyTouch 4G and the G2), but not all new Android phones at T-Mobile are HSPA+.

Global LTE Revenues to Reach $100B

Global long term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks, which are often defined as 4G mobile broadband networks, will generate $100 billion USD in revenue by 2014, according to a new white paper from Juniper Research. In 2014, “4G LTE – Show Me The Money” forecasts the top three regions – North America, Western Europe, and the Far East and China, will account for 90% of global LTE revenue. Western Europe will represent the largest LTE market share, with North America and Far East/China having roughly equal shares of the market.

Of the remaining five markets analyzed by Juniper, the rest of Asia Pacific will represent the largest portion of the other 10% of global LTE revenue in 2014, with Central & Eastern Europe and Africa & Middle East following closely behind. Latin America and the Indian Subcontinent will represent minimal portions of the market.

About the Data: The Nielsen Company recently fielded a survey of more than 2,100 US adults to gauge consumer awareness and perceptions of 4G as well as purchase intent.


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