4G wireless service is quickly becoming the new standard in the mobile marketplace, enabling faster consumption of content on the go. New research from Nielsen found that adoption of 4G mobile phones has nearly quadrupled since last year, going from 1.4 percent in Q1 2011 to 7.6 percent in Q1 2012. Consumers under 34 are most likely to have already adopted 4G and 63 percent of teens are likely to consider switching to 4G within the next year.
Other takeaways for carriers, device manufacturers, and content providers from our analysis of 4G device usage include:
- While both awareness and adoption of 4G have increased, understanding of 4G remains low as 55 percent of respondents are unable to identify any forms of 4G technology.
- Eighty-six percent of 4G smartphone owners are satisfied with their 4G devices, comparable to owners of 3G devices, although satisfaction is notably low for battery life among 4G owners (46%). A portion of 4G smartphone owners report manually toggling between 3G and 4G on their device in an effort to conserve battery life.
- Although 39 percent of 4G smartphone owners indicate that 4G was a factor influencing their purchasing decision, only 8 percent identify 4G as the most important factor. The research found that 4G capability is considerably more important for those purchasing a data card or mobile hotspot than either a smartphone or tablet.
- Current 4G users are five times more likely to consider 4G as a replacement for their home broadband connection.