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Ericsson report uncovers the consumer potential of 5G

09 May 2019

Ericsson has released a new ConsumerLab report, 5G Consumer Potential, which busts industry myths surrounding the value of 5G for consumers and outlines the opportunities available for communications service providers.

Backed by solid research from one of the biggest ever 5G consumer expectation studies, the report looks at the potential of 5G to benefit consumers, uncovering certain realities about them (“consumer realities”) to 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.

Conducted globally, the research involved 35,000 interviews with smartphone users aged 15 to 69, in 22 different countries. In Australia, the report statistically represents the opinions of 13 million smartphone users. The study 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.

The key findings of the study include the fact that consumers expect 5G to provide relief from urban network congestion in the near term – especially in Australia’s bigger cities, where nearly half (47%) smartphone users report facing network issues in crowded areas. The respondents also anticipate more home broadband choices to be available with the launch of 5G.

The report also dispels the ICT industry myth that consumers are unwilling to pay a premium on 5G. In fact, Australian smartphone users state that they are willing to pay 20 per cent more for fifth-generation services, and early adopters as much as 42 per cent more.

However, whilst 6 in 10 are willing to pay for 5G services that are relevant to them, they also expect services like 5G TV, Smart home and 5G Hot zones access to be bundled with a 5G plan. High spenders on 5G also expect new use cases that uniquely leverage 5G capabilities and a secure network.

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

Video consumption is set to rise significantly with 5G. Australian consumers expect to not only stream video in higher resolutions but also use immersive video formats such as Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR), resulting in an additional two hours of video content being watched weekly on mobile devices by users in the 5G future when they are out and about, including half an hour wearing AR glasses or VR headsets.

The study also reveals that data usage for one in five users could reach more than 160GB per month on a 5G device by 2025.

From these insights and more, Ericsson ConsumerLab has drawn up a consumer roadmap of use cases involving 31 different applications and services. The roadmap is divided into six use-case categories, namely: 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.