x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • 4G LTE is for the geeks, half of U.S. consumers feel like they don't need it

4G LTE is for the geeks, half of U.S. consumers feel like they don't need it

4G LTE is for the geeks, half of U.S. consumers feel like they don't need it
4G LTE – we hear this resounding abbreviation all the time, which should come as no surprise as it is the most advanced kind of mobile broadband that a subscriber can get nowadays. It is offered by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, with T-Mobile expected to join the fun next year. Yet in the real world, what fraction of all cell phone users demand having 4G LTE service?

The answer to that question might surprise you. According to a research conducted by Piper Jaffray, almost half of U.S. mobile subscribers do not feel like they need 4G connectivity. That includes all popular kinds of 4G we know, namely LTE, HSPA+, and WiMAX. In addition, the study shows that more than a quarter of mobile phone users do not see any difference between the 4G flavors that are currently operational. Only 15% of all 3000 respondents are convinced that 4G LTE is the best kind of 4G available today.

As a side note, the same people were also asked whether they were planning on purchasing the next iPhone, which will presumably have LTE connectivity. 55% of all respondents admitted they were considering getting Apple's next smartphone, and 44% of them prefer to get it from Verizon. AT&T and Sprint were preferred by 29% and 14% respectively, while 13% would get the iPhone 5 from T-Mobile, in case the carrier releases it.

So it seems like 4G LTE is just for the smartphone geeks like us, and the average Joe still doesn't care about high-speed mobile internet, or at least not yet. Things are bound to change over time, however, especially since smartphones are gradually eating into the market share of feature phones. What is your opinion on the matter? Is 4G LTE now a must when buying a new smartphone? 

source: Piper Jaffray via BGR

4G LTE is for the geeks, half of U.S. consumers feel like they don't need it

71 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:32 30

1. wendygarett (unregistered)


Because half of it is using iPhone silly :D

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:36 14

2. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


lol I was going to say that! Man you beat me to it!!!!!!!

You know what, they say that because they haven't used it. Once they have used 4G LTE they will NEVER go back. 4G LTE literally runs circles around 3G, like a Ducati compared to bicycle. & I am being 100% literal, it's that blatant.

+1 AGAIN!!!!!

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:00 4

9. wendygarett (unregistered)


My country doesn't have lte either...
4g is better but I'm satisfied my current 3g data so I'm afraid I will be that half
Unless 4g lte is cheaper than 3g :)

Anyway +1

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:06 4

12. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


You know what wendygarett, you will have 4G LTE because that is where technology is going. 2G is about to go extinct real soon & once voice is handled though 4G LTE that will be the final nail in the 3G coffin.

So don't worry once you get a taste of 4G LTE you will be hooked & will never go back.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:13 3

16. vmoizinho (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Sep 2011)


Simple like that, SuperAndroidEvo. LTE is a huge slice of AWESOMENESS.

After try it out in my Gnex I had to switch some things at home. Starting w/ a gorgeous and lightining Sky 4G LTE home router... *_*

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:40

22. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Nice that really is awesome. Good for you!

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 10:59 2

37. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


ive tasted it, and i could care less. Once they are all on it, sure fine.. but im not going out of my way to get it. I'm happy with my 3g as well. GSM 3g is 7.2mbs. Better than my crap ass home connection by a factor of 4 lol. My wife's 4g phone hotspots us between up to 14mb/s. Once I do finally break down and upgrade, I'll be running at 42mb/s... way more than I'll need any time soon. HSPA+ still gets better battery life compared to LTE most of the time and it has a much faster fall back. 42mb/s falling back to 7.2 vs LTE's 40-50mb/s falling back to 1.5 on VZW. And its still way cheaper. :)

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 12:58 3

56. iCandy (Posts: 46; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


You of all commentors must realize the 7.2mbs and 42mbs you refer to are theoretical maximums and not actuals. Though the 4G technologies may provide lower theoreticals, their greater efficiences and capacity routinely demonstrate higher actual throughputs.

But at the end of the day, its not throughput that wins the battle for most of us, but the age old bogeymen of coverage and capacity. 4G is able to service more users from a given tower, and it appears Verizon and AT&T currently, or in the near future, will provide significantly better coverage for data via their networks in the US than T-Mobile.

Here's hoping T-Mobile and Sprint make great efforts to refarm and bring LTE to us all soon so the cost of 4G service becomes very competitive.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 13:14 1

57. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


HSPA+ 42/84 is actually more spectrum efficient than the current LTE technology being deployed by VZW/ATT. LTE's spectrum advancements dont come into play until LTE-Advanced which is the NEXT generation of LTE.. that 100mb/s+ speed we used to hear about.

Tmobile and Sprint will be in the game by next year. Sprint is already doing testing roll outs. Tmobile promised 2013 to be the year of LTE-10.. which is faster than VZW/ATT's LTE and a minor upgrade basically to LTE-A when it becomes viable.
Next year TMobile will have the fastest LTE and the fastest HSPA+ to back it up for less than every other major carrier.

Right now TMobile's HSPA+ has been tested nationally to be 2nd only to VZW and only by a few mb/s on the average.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 14:32

60. jenna_23 (Posts: 145; Member since: 02 Apr 2010)


I agree with you on hspa+ having better life haha i hate and i mean i hate how crappy battery life is on my at&t xperia ion and galaxy note when i have LTE turned on both of them its ridiculous that i only make like 5 phone calls send a few texts and check my fb like twice and that drains more than half of my battery at first i tought it was the batteries on the phones that didnt work. But i turned off LTE and forced both phones to 3G hspa+ only and now the battery lasts all day long with heavy use on one single charge on both phones. Besides at&ts 3G hspa is not that bad sure it may not be as fast as t-mobiles hspa but way faster than verizons 3G evdo i feel bad for verizon customers who go out of a 4G area to a 3G area it must be a letdown after getting 40 mbps they go down to 1.5 like u said. Me on atts LTE also get up to 40 but on 3G j get 10-12 so its not that bad.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 23:58 1

66. Forsaken77 (Posts: 546; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


You need cable broadband at your house man. I get 50/8 at home. Got 2 pc's, 5 laptops, 4 smartphones, 3 game consoles and 1 tv all running off it without a hitch. And that's not even a high tier plan. Cable gives really good speed for a good price. You're in Fla. right? Is that Brighthouse or Cox or Comcast in your area?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 22:09

63. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Wendy you do know that the Malaysian goverment have issued license to several operators to have LTE so it's comming year end of next year right ?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:50 3

5. PAPINYC (Posts: 2186; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


Damn-iT Wendy, I was going to say that!
Might I add that, 'they don't need it' response only justifies their stuck-on outdated 3G iPhone. Besides, 'they don't need it' because "they do everything on iWiFi", hence, they can all be found at iStarbucks.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:59 2

8. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


PAPINYC, I know what you mean. I go to an iStarbucks to get a frapacchino & when I bust out my GNex & don't have to ask for a Wi-Fi signal because my 4G LTE is so boss, I constantly get the evil eye. lol

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:09 2

15. PAPINYC (Posts: 2186; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


I know that EViL EyE all too well, that's why iStay out of iStarbucks (or I bring an iPhone just to blend in).

My favorite is when I'm watching flash video content on my XOOM and the person (or group, cuz' they're always in a group; like when they're in the field) at the next table is just ALWAYS reading, then looks at me; looks at their iPad; looks at me again; looks at their iPad; looks at me again (but, this time, pretends not to be looking at me); looks at their iPad again; and, this just goes on and on until closing.
I do feel genuinely sorry for them [always].

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:23 1

19. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


What kind of Starbucks do you go to. Every time I go nobody cares what I use. That is rediculas.

When your streaming YouTube and you don't have to wait to let the video load befor you can watch it is great. But like I seas lots of time before you can have 10g with 5gb per second download(just giving example) and it comes down to the plead speed of the server sending you the info. There are a lot of sites that it won't realy matter. Having said that even though LTE and other 4g sucks the battery fast I still feel that it is needed for no reason but not only does it have a lot faster experience for the most part but it is capable to get faster in the cuter where 3G is at its max almost. But another reason is especially LTE that it has a bigger band width and can handle more people on same tower and you will not get those constraint speeds that you find in congested areas and it will get more noticeable in the future. Your LTE phone will also be able to handle future upgrades making your phone last longer befor needing rlacement.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:43 2

25. PAPINYC (Posts: 2186; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


huh?!? (Confused look on my face :o)

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:16

43. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


HIGHLY doubt people are looking at you in envy because you are watching flash on your Xoom. Having both an iPad and a Galaxy 10.1, I've honestly never come across a time where I couldn't do something because I don't have flash on my iPad. Fandroids are blowing the lack of flash on iOS WAY out of porportion.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 13:15 1

58. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


like everything, it depends how you use it. I use flash on my tablet quite often.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:46 5

26. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Man that is funny, I love that you need to carry an iPhone just so you can be accepted into your local iStarbucks. lol

People at iStarbucks get real mad when I use my 4G LTE GNex as a mobile hotspot & bust out my Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Asus Transformer Prime.

TALK ABOUT THE EVIL EYE & EVIL SIGH! lol

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 10:28 1

33. PAPINYC (Posts: 2186; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


You GO BOY!

;)

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 09:20

29. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


Quit being so self absorbed. I HARDLY believe anyone cares what it is you're doing on your tablet. Get over yourself.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 09:27 1

31. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


I wouldn't set foot in a Starbucks if it's just gomers drinking $5 coffee and showing off their devices, Apple or not. WHO CARES if you're using an Asus or an iPad! There isn't one product that works perfectly universally for everyone.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 10:50 2

34. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


yeah those guys are making themselves look stupid on this site...

knowing damn well no one in starbucks gives a damn what device they use... smh

unless all this talk is sarcasm for trolling pleasures...lol

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:58 2

51. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yeah I think it should be VERY obvious that PAPINYC & I are just having some silly fun. I really don't think people at Starbucks care if we have Androids or not. If they do then they are VERY shallow people.

We were joking to all who really couldn't tell. lol

Not directed to you good2great, you did see the sarcasm even though it was more for fun than trolling.

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 00:03

67. Forsaken77 (Posts: 546; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)


AT&T offers free hotspots at all Starbucks in my area in NY. Verizon doesn't do that?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:54 2

50. JGuinan007 (Posts: 620; Member since: 19 May 2011)


I like to go to Starbucks and use Wifi Kill and knock out anyone that is using an I product it's funny to hear them brag about there Iproduct then get upset that they can't connect to WiFi

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 12:03 3

52. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


Are you serious? You have nothing better to do with your time?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 22:11 1

64. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


But in Starbucks malaysia , I see only 2 brand of mobile device here , Samsung or apple . Anything else people look like you like you are not cool or a freak

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:40 2

48. ZayZay (Posts: 555; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


This study is conducted by apple so when they fail at putting LTE in the new phone, they can justify it! Apple "see people don't need it, seeee!"

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 22:32

65. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2927; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


The cute girl knows what she is talking about!

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:41 4

3. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 963; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


most people dont understand the importance of data speed.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:53 8

7. PabloFOO (Posts: 3; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


First World Problems.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:47 4

4. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Besides this obsolete poll (surveying 3G customers), LTE is somewhat useless for tiered data plan owners. They'll have to rely heavily on Wi-fi connections for large file downloads and a majority of their streaming.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:02 3

11. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


That is true because with 4G LTE you will burn through data with the quickness. That is the only trap, just make sure you have the right plan & then you are golden.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 07:50 4

6. Netadmin (Posts: 4; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


Most people dont really need it, most people dont even need a smart, they dont even know how to use it, they dont even know what 4G LTE is.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:47

27. McLTE (Posts: 637; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


This is very true, and lets face it.. typical consumers are just.. dumb when it comes to technology. Most just want to check facebook and play their FB games..

My wife falls into this camp. She got a new phone and went with the HTC Rezound. She insists that the 4G is NO faster than the 3G she had previously.

She doesn't see it, because she's not using apps or doing things that take advantage of the speed!

As to the OP's original question.. ABSOLUTELY people should buy LTE as their next phone. You have to keep up with technology. With contracts being 2 years, you'd be crazy to not grab LTE if you can.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:01 5

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7393; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I saw a 70 year old woman on the train yesterday with a Galaxy Nexus... People do want 4G but the people saying its necessary most likely never tried it.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:07 1

13. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3759; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


+1 to you!

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:08 1

14. jvnc2012 (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Aug 2012)


I have a motorola atrix 2 with AT&T HSPA+ 4G and I am totally happy with it! I can tether from it, send mms messages quick and easy and browse online in a quick manner... If I have big files to download, I change over to wifi.... Sure I would want the faster speeds of 4G LTE, but my priority is speed AND battery life, not just speed! My motorola atrix 2 lasts all day and I still have battery to spare so HSPA+ is just fine for me! I say improve android phone's battery life and give reasonable data speeds more than just speed...

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:41 1

23. whoisnetworkdood (banned) (Posts: 27; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


hspa+ is great

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:21 3

17. g2a5b0e (Posts: 2105; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Everyone was happy with their 56K modems back in 1998, too.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:03 2

38. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


This.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:12

41. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I thought i was a bad ass mofo the day I bought my first 56k modem. I can still remember the dial up sounds when you dialed in and how the 56k had that extra low note section... it used to be music to my ears.. now its just in my nightmares.
/end geek rant.
lol

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:22

18. willywill_evo (Posts: 162; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


LOL i have wifi in my house and download apps and surf the web much faster on LTE

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:27

46. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


Cool story. How is tiered data working out for ya?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:38

20. whoisnetworkdood (banned) (Posts: 27; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


funny article...especially since joe pa from the south wants an iphone 4G....lol

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:39

21. whoisnetworkdood (banned) (Posts: 27; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


4G lte is nothing compared to 5G :-)

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 10:54 1

35. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Ozzy still wants to know where 6G is.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 08:42

24. whoisnetworkdood (banned) (Posts: 27; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)


At home I only get SLOWrizon 3G, but with my COMCAST wifi I get 4G LTE speeds of 30mbps.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 09:18

28. droidpop (Posts: 4; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)


Not that I don't need it, more of a case of a data plan that allows enough usage to make it viable. Plans are so limited and costly, I have pretty much given up on the phone company ISP's and use wifi. looks like t-mo & sprint are both going back to true unlimited data plans without throttling. Might have to jump AT&T and go to different provider, then yes I want LTE.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 09:21

30. speckledapple (Posts: 877; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


the true is that 4G will be considered mainstream to the general public (even though its been out forever at this point) when the iPhone gets it as its not "news" persay for them. Whether it matters or not eh but truth is truth. It just sucks on how many people are simply uninformed about their devices.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 09:51 2

32. akhi216 (Posts: 61; Member since: 01 May 2011)


Tiered data and throttling is to blame. The people already can't do much with their phones because the carriers either have them on a tiered data plan or they throttle unlimited users. Because of this they see LTE as unnecessary. Carriers advertise their LTE networks as the fastest, largest, most reliable, then turn around and start throttling and bullying people into tiered plans. Since most people are on 3G phones the people who would actually use the data services get bullied into using wifi, why would they see the need for LTE?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 10:55 4

36. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


im willing to bet that a large portion of those that dont care about 4g at all are current iphone users. Oh how I wish we could see the breakdown.

"who cares about 4g. If it was important, it would be on my iphone... because im important since I have an iphone! It has the wifi's and GeeBees!"

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:04

39. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


not you too remixfa?? smh #facepalm

couldn't resist huh?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:10 1

40. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


just a basic assumption. The vast majority androids that have been sold in the last 2 years have been 4G of some sort. The only major brand without 4G right now is Apple. Even RIM and WP7 are 4g. Apple also has a pretty solid share of US smartphone users. So it would make sense that alot of those "i dont care" people are iphone people. The rest would be people with cheap arse android phones that barely use them, and those few remaining people that use ..... dare i say it.... flip phones! lol.

Not every statement against apple is some sort of fanboy statement. It's a pretty logical assumption once you break it down.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:12

42. Zero0 (Posts: 571; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Who wants to bet that when Apple releases its new iPhone with "magical, innovative, and revolutionary 4G LTE technology," that the percentage of people who don't need LTE shrinks significantly?

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:19

44. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


Apple holds a significant market share of tablets and smartphones. When LTE becomes available to them, yes, people are going to want it. I don't see the big deal.

posted on 23 Aug 2012, 11:25

45. moofoodooloo (Posts: 137; Member since: 04 Jan 2011)


4G.. be it LTE, WiMax, HSPA+ (which shouldn't be called 4G..) is more hype then it is awesome. Is it nice? Absolutely. Are there a lot of applications where it is very necessary to have? Sure. But 4G is more a label of superiority then anything, and the average consumer really doesn't need it like they think they do.. as long as they are getting decent 3G.

posted on 24 Aug 2012, 18:12 1

69. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7393; Member since: 14 May 2012)


WiMAX does not deserve to be called 4G. It's slow and ended being a total fail. HSPA+ deserves the title of 4G more than WiMAX and everyone knows it.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories