Connectivity and Mobile Trends for 2020


Americans’ connectivity cravings are driving consumer appetites for 5G, home automation and more control of their personal data as we head into 2020.

That’s a key takeaway from a new Deloitte survey that TV broadcasters spending millions on NEXT GEN TV upgrades may want to read.

The survey, Deloitte notes, was conducted “to better understand how U.S. consumers interact with their smartphones, connected devices and mobile technologies.”

That’s essential knowledge for both broadcast TV and radio executives keen on capturing audience via a digital device, in lieu of a traditional method of consuming television or radio stations.

The findings reveal that consumers are ready for faster and more reliable internet speeds. Further, the advent of 5G cellular technology may boost smartphone sales.

This could be good news for broadcasters seeking to build their digital access points, and then monetize them. Or, it could be another blow for organizations heavily invested in ATSC 3.0 without similar investments in the digital realm.

It speaks volumes of how 5G has captured the consumer’s attention and how it is top-of-mind.

NEXT GEN TV? Not so much, unless prompted by the companies that expect to benefit from it.

The Deloitte survey finds that some 67% of consumers said that they would be more likely to buy a new smartphone once 5G-compatible smartphones are available.

Furthermore, 62% of consumers say they will likely replace their home internet with 5G Wi-Fi service once it is available in their area.


With U.S. households averaging 11 connected devices, including 7 smart screens to view content, the consumer has never had more desire for faster, safer connectivity.

Are they acquiring new devices? Nope.

“The smartphone refresh cycle is lengthening,” Deloitte finds. “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.”

  • 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.
    • In fact, Boomers (ages 54-72), who account for 30% of all smartphone users, lag behind and 43% haven’t changed their phones in the last two years.
    • Moreover, 58% of boomers do not plan to buy a smartphone within the next two years.
  • More than 40% of consumers cited economic factors as the main reason they’re not planning to upgrade.
    • Twenty percent of consumers noted that new phones are too expensive, 12% responded they can’t afford to buy a new phone, and 11% mentioned they are still paying off their current phone.

“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,” said Kevin Westcott, Vice Chairman of Deloitte LLP and U.S. TMT leader. “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.”

As carriers invest in 5G and roll it out in the U.S., 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).


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.