Of all the technology improvements likely to expand rapidly in 2021, the GammaWire research team predicts 5G will be the biggest change in consumer tech.
While most carriers invested heavily in 5G in 2020, the effects will start to show in 2021 as more device technology onboards and mass adoption takes place.
Many consumers can already access the faster network as current estimates suggest that approximately 200 million US residents have access to 5G connections. Ericsson reports that they believe by 2026, 5G will be available to over 60% of the global population, one of the fastest rollouts of such a technology in history.
Currently 5G subscriptions are lagging behind total available adoption, which of course makes sense given time for consumers to make the switch by purchasing a new device or upgrading their plans.
While still relatively a fringe opinion, it is worth noting that some consumers are nervous about making the switch to faster wireless connections given floating conspiracies about the dangers of 5G. This is not dissimilar to previous conspiracy theories about things like WiFi connections, powerlines, and even electricity, and while there have been several news cycles hyping up the conspiratorial stance of some consumers, it is unlikely to catch enough adoption to warrant concern in the long term.
Another specific note in our research has been how prominent 5G rollout will be for enterprise business. While consumer technology often offers the most visible shift in behavior and adoption, 5G rollout will make massive inroads through industries like shipping and logistics, corporate operations, healthcare, security, and more. As these shifts in technological capabilities improve industry, so will consumer growth follow rapidly.
As smart devices beyond just phones infiltrate daily life, it is expected that 5G technology will be imposed on consumers without them likely even knowing. Smart home devices, on-board technologies, and other IoT products consumers interact with on a daily basis will likely come with 5G technology installed, increasing consumer adoption in the new technology.
And with such adoption comes performance improvement, meaning most consumers likely won’t care even if they previously had a neutral or negative opinion about making the switch.