Verizon Tops 5G Network Perception Survey

New survey results indicate Verizon enjoys a commanding lead when it comes to which 5G network Americans think is best.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

January 9, 2020

2 Min Read
Verizon Tops 5G Network Perception Survey

Verizon enjoys a commanding lead in the court of public opinion on 5G, according to the results of a new nationwide survey.

Figure 1:

The results come from a survey of 1,015 people conducted by Wall Street research firm Cowen. The firm collected the results between Dec. 24 and Dec. 30 online "from participants meant to represent the US population natural fallout." The firm asked the question "Which carrier do you perceive has the best 5G network?" and the options were AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon.

"It appears Verizon's '5G Built Right' campaign, which is focused on its mmWave buildout (which is now live in 31 markets), is resonating," the firm wrote in its report to investors on the survey. However, the Cowen analysts pointed out that the 5G results also closely align with Verizon's overall brand perception among the survey respondents -- "thus Verizon could be enjoying collateral goodwill" in 5G.

It also probably didn't hurt that Verizon made 5G a central element of its nationwide advertising campaign throughout 2019 despite the fact that its millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G network continues to cover just a tiny slice of the US population.

Specifically, Verizon spent an estimated $86 million in 2019 on TV ads with 5G in the title, according to, which tracks TV advertisements across the country. Verizon's overall spending on the campaign was undoubtedly far bigger, considering that it spanned billboards, magazines, online sites, radio and other advertising mediums.

But it's also worth noting that AT&T spent roughly $90 million throughout 2019 on TV ads with 5G in the title, according to -- just outpacing Verizon. AT&T, for its part, only began selling 5G to regular consumers at the tail end of December.

5G launches in 2019 were mostly "a branding event," Jeffrey Moore, principal of market research firm Wave7 Research, told Light Reading late last year.

While 2019 may have been a 5G "branding event," the technology could get more tangible in 2020 as operators expand their 5G networks and the number of 5G devices they sell. Whether Verizon can parlay customer perception into 5G sales remains to be seen.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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