5G Awareness: Do Americans Know What 5G Is?

Hype surrounding 5G implementation has been going on for years now. Cellular services companies have constantly touted that they have the best 5G network around. Yet US 5G coverage is still not as consistent as planned. And many Americans don’t know what 5G is or what it fundamentally does, how it’s an improvement over 4G, among other things.

Opensignal and YouGov recently released new reports regarding 5G awareness and found that cell companies still haven’t done a great job of getting their message across.

5G Coverage

Opensignal’s report obtained coverage data from 50 states and 250 cities, showing that coverage is highly variable depending on where you are.

1) Illinois and Texas had the best active 5G connections at 27%. Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island came in third at 26%.

2) New York had the fastest average download time at 114 MBps, and was the only state to post 100+ MBps.

The average US 4G connection is 18 MBps.

3) McAllen, Texas had the most reliable 5G connection (at 34.1% of the time).

Utica, NY, had the worst at 10.8%.

Laredo, TX (131 MBps), had the fastest download speeds and Hagerstown, Maryland (34 MBps), was the slowest.

5G consumer perception

According to a 2021 YouGov poll, 20% of US adults have not heard of 5G coverage at all.

Moreover, among those who have heard of 5G, 27% are unsure what it will be useful for.

15% also think it won’t be useful at all.

5G Big picture

5G’s rollout has not been consistent. Cities are more likely to have access than suburban and rural areas.

And outside of location, coverage varies by quite a bit based on the carrier.

PCMag’s speed test found that T-Mobile has the best coverage, on average, but it was not as consistent across geography.

In some smaller cities, T-Mobile performed worse than Verizon and AT&T.

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