5G is impressive, but people expected more than just speed

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Let us get something out of the way right away – 5G is a great advancement in connectivity and while we’re still in the early stages of its life, the potential 5G holds is grand.

Now, with that out of the way, if you’ve used 5G, you might be looking at the massive speed increases and wondering “Is that it?”. And you aren’t alone in that thinking.

Ericsson has published its Five Ways to a Better 5G report which analyses responses from online interviews with 30 730 individuals aged 15 – 69 from 26 markets where 5G is available. You can find the methodology behind this report and the report itself here.

“Analysis of the 5G network experience has mostly focused on 5G speeds and availability, based on independent network measurements. But it is equally important to understand how 5G early adopters perceive the 5G network experience. This report, the biggest ever 5G consumer study, uncovers key trends influencing the adoption, usage and perception of consumers towards 5G,” the report explains.

The finding that jumps out at us is that of user satisfaction.

The report reveals that early adopters are pleased with the speeds of 5G connectivity and while early adopters have appreciated that building our services which leverage 5G will take time, that patience is wearing thin.

As many as 70 percent of individuals interviewed said that they were dissatisfied with the availability of innovative apps and services which take advantage of 5G.

But when 5G is compared to 4G offerings that’s where things become a bit more understandable.

“Apart from some Asian markets such as South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China, in most markets globally, service providers, while attempting to drive a service-led strategy, have been slow in bundling 5G with digital services beyond what is already being offered on 4G – such as music and video steaming services and other apps. Instead, service providers need to offer exclusive content and services that could differentiate a 5G experience from 4G and promote a sense of novelty and exclusivity,” Ericsson explains.

It appears then that those using 5G are expecting more than just fast speeds and rightly so. For years now 5G has been built up as being a revolutionary tech that will change how we communicate.

The trouble with that statement, however, is that we don’t know what that change looks like. There are of course demonstrations that showcase what the high bandwidth and low latency of 5G can do but those solutions are were 5G is headed and might not be possible right now.

The upshot of this, at least for network operators is that 20 – 30 percent of customers are willing to pay more for 5G plans bundled with digital services.

“Despite the pandemic, smartphone users surveyed are willing to pay 10 percent more on average for 5G plans that offer enhanced mobile broadband access. However, they are willing to pay even more for plans with bundled innovative digital services,” says Ericsson.

Patience from consumers then is what is needed because the advancements from 5G are coming, just expect it to be bundled with other services.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.