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Deloitte Survey: Connectivity Cravings Drive Consumer Appetite for 5G, Home Automation and More Control of Personal Data

Consumers are ready for faster and more reliable internet speeds; advent of 5G cellular technology may boost smartphone sales

NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --

Key takeaways

  • U.S. households have an average of 11 connected devices, including seven smart screens to view content.
  • Sixty-seven percent of consumers said that when 5G is available, they would be more likely to buy a 5G-compatible smartphone.
  • Sixty-two percent of consumers say they will likely replace their home internet with 5G Wi-Fi service, if it delivers speeds equivalent to those of fiber.
  • Ninety-one percent of consumers believe they should be able to control, edit and delete their personal data; 84% say they should get paid by companies that monetize their data.

Why this matters
With U.S. households now supporting an average of 11 connected devices including seven smart screens to view and interact with content, the consumer has never had more desire for faster, safer connectivity. And with 5G getting closer to reality, this "connectivity craving" can be satisfied if smartphone manufacturers and telecommunication carriers are ready to deliver.

According to Deloitte's inaugural U.S. edition of the "Connectivity and Mobile Trends" (CMT) survey, 67% of consumers said that when 5G is available they would be more likely to upgrade to a 5G-compatible smartphone. Sixty-two percent of consumers say they will likely replace their home internet with 5G Wi-Fi service, if it delivers speeds equivalent to those of fiber. Added to that, consumers are bolstering their home internet networks to handle and support the increasing number of internet-connected devices and home automation devices in the household. Thirty-five percent of home internet consumers employ either a multi-point router, a range extender or mesh router for their home Wi-Fi network.

Smartphone refresh cycle could be hastened by 5G
The smartphone refresh cycle is lengthening. Nearly 1 in 3 consumers have a smartphone that is two years or older. Moreover, fewer than 60% of consumers plan to buy a new smartphone in the next two years. The survey indicates two major factors contributing to consumers delaying a smartphone refresh:

  • More than half (52%) believe their current phone has the capabilities they need, or that the functionality of new phones is not advanced enough to warrant an upgrade.
  • More than 40% of consumers cited economic factors as the main reason they're not planning to upgrade.

5G could spark next-generation entertainment
As carriers invest in 5G and roll it out in the United States, the survey indicates a significant percentage of consumers will adopt the service quickly — if it delivers on its promise of faster speeds and better coverage.

  • Forty-three percent of consumers face issues when watching videos on their smartphone, while 41% feel their mobile data speeds are not fast enough.
  • More than 40% of Gen Z consumers say they will play more mobile video games once they have 5G.
  • Nearly 35% of Gen Z and millennials say that access to 5G will change how they use augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR).

Key quote
"As carriers roll out 5G in the United States, a significant number of consumers will adopt the service quickly — if it delivers on its promise of faster speeds and better coverage. Major networks and studios will continue to launch their own streaming and other data-heavy entertainment services like online multiplayer games, augmented reality, and virtual reality, accelerating the race to attract and retain customers. Providers that can satisfy the 'connectivity plus content' equation first will likely be the most successful."

Kevin Westcott, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP,
and U.S. telecom and media and entertainment leader

Smart homes in the fast lane
Smartphones aren't the only devices 5G can boost. After a slow-climb, home automation and control devices are poised to 'cross the chasm' into mass adoption, and 5G could provide the push they need.

  • Today, 28% of consumers use at least one device for home automation and control —such as a thermostat, security camera or lighting system connected to the internet. And, 40% of these consumers use at least three home automation devices.
  • Around a quarter of home automation users spend extra to augment their home Wi-Fi or mobile speed and bandwidth, and consumers who have more home automation devices are more likely to pay for additional speed and bandwidth to support their setup.
  • Sixty-two percent of home automation users rank 5G's potential to offer better connectivity in the home as one of the top three capabilities likely to drive them to use 5G.

Privacy is paramount
While consumers are ready for better when it comes to devices and how they connect them, they also expect better when it comes to their privacy and security.

  • Seventy-two percent of consumers surveyed agree with the statement, "I'm more aware now of how my data is collected and used than a year ago".
  • Yet, just more than half (52%) agree the value they get from online services outweighs their privacy and security concerns.
  • Fifty-nine percent of consumers are "very" or "extremely" concerned about the privacy of their smartphone data; 58% feel the same about its security.
  • Seventy-three percent are "very" or "extremely" concerned about the privacy and security of smart speakers; 72% worry about the security and privacy of home automation devices.

More than ever, consumers want more control over how their personal data is used and who gets to monetize it. The vast majority (91%) believe they should be able to control, edit and delete their personal data, and 84% said they should get paid by companies that monetize their data.

Key quote
"Consumers tell us they are 'ready for better' — better connectivity, better smartphones, and perhaps more importantly, better online services that are both private and secure. More than ever, consumers feel they should have more control over how their personal data is used, and who gets to monetize it. If 'data is the new oil,' consumers are the oil wells: They want to regulate what is pumped out and they want royalty checks."

Dr. Jeff Loucks,
executive director, Deloitte Center for
Technology, Media and Telecommunications,
Deloitte LLP

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world's most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 5,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across the industry sectors that drive and shape today's marketplace — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them. Our network of member firms spans more than 150 countries and territories. Learn how Deloitte's more than 312,000 people worldwide make an impact that matters at www.deloitte.com.

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SOURCE Deloitte