Tuesday, 07 May 2019 23:34

5G potential ‘dispels myth’ on the value to consumers: report

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5G potential ‘dispels myth’ on the value to consumers: report Image Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The potential of 5G technology to benefit consumers dispels the ICT “industry myth” that consumers are unwilling to pay a premium on 5G, according to a newly published study which found that smartphone users are willing to pay 20% more for fifth-generation servic — including more broadband choices — and half of early adopters would pay as much as 32% more.

The latest ConsumerLab report on 5G consumer potential from Ericsson also found, however, that four in 10 of these high spenders expected new use cases and payment models as well as a secure 5G network, in addition to a consistently high Internet speed.

The key findings include the claim that consumers expect 5G to provide relief from urban network congestion in the near term – especially in megacities, where six in 10 smartphone users report facing network issues in crowded areas.

And Ericsson says the respondents also anticipate more home broadband choices to be available with the launch of 5G.

The report uncovers certain realities about “consumer realities” and, Ercisson notes, those realities "bust” the following four common industry myths:

  1. 5G offers consumers no short-term benefits.
  2. There are no real use cases for 5G, nor is there a price premium on 5G.
  3. Smartphones will be the “silver bullet” for 5G: the magical single solution to delivering fifth-generation services.
  4. Current usage patterns can be used to predict future 5G demand.

Ericsson says the study — based on 35,000 interviews with smartphone users aged 15 to 69 in 22 different countries — brings some “sense of reality” to the ongoing debate in the ICT industry about whether there is an opportunity for a premium consumer offering based on 5G’s extra capabilities.

Another key finding is that current 4G usage patterns are not indicative of future usage behaviours.

And, according to the study, video consumption is set to rise with 5G.

Consumers expect to not only stream higher resolution video, but also use immersive video formats such as augmented reality and virtual reality, resulting in an additional three hours of video content being watched weekly on mobile devices by users in the 5G future when they are out and about, including one hour wearing AR glasses or VR headsets.

The study also reveals that one in five smartphone users’ data usage could reach more than 200GB per month on a 5G device by 2025.

From the results of the study, Ericsson ConsumerLab says it has drawn up a consumer roadmap of use cases involving 31 different applications and services, divided into six use-case categories – entertainment and media; enhanced mobile broadband; gaming and AR/VR applications; smart home and fixed wireless access; automotive and transportation; and shopping and immersive communications.  

Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research, says: “Through our research, we have busted four myths about consumers’ views on 5G and answered questions such as whether 5G features will require new types of devices, or whether smartphones will be the silver bullet for 5G. Consumers clearly state that they think smartphones are unlikely to be the sole solution for 5G.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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