Mobile Devices

5G already impacting smartphone use

13 May 2021
The study found that one-in-five users are reducing Wi-Fi use on smartphones in favor of 5G connectivity. Source: Ericsson

While 5G, the next generation wireless technology, is not yet ubiquitous in the world, it already is impacting smartphone user behavior, according to an Ericsson ConsumerLab report.

The research found one of the key focuses to emerge was indoor use of 5G, something that Ericsson is working to improve. The company found that one-in-five 5G users are already reducing Wi-Fi use on their smartphones indoors because of the benefits of 5G mobile connectivity. Early 5G adopters also were found to spend an average of two hours more on cloud gaming and one hour more on augmented reality (AR) apps per week compared with 4G users.

The study found that by the end of 2020, if companies worked to increase awareness of service and value benefits, it would have resulted in 22% more smartphone users with 5G-ready handsets upgrading to 5G subscriptions.

The survey also found that most 5G users were satisfied with the speed, but 70% were dissatisfied with the innovative services and new apps. Consumers were willing to pay 20% to 30% more for 5G plans bundled with digital service use cases. Additionally, those surveyed indicated that indoor coverage is two times more important than speed or battery life in delivery 5G experiences.

“So far, analyses of 5G network experiences have mostly focused on 5G speeds and availability based on independent network measurements,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of ConsumerLab at Ericsson. “But it is equally important to understand how 5G early adopters perceive that experience. With Ericsson ConsumerLab’s five recommendations and insights, CSPs can encourage 5G adoption and meet consumer expectations.”

These five recommendations include:

  1. Addressing the knowledge gap by educating and better marketing the value of 5G to consumers.
  2. Ensuring consistent quality of indoor and outdoor 5G coverage.
  3. Adapting to network requirements of new 5G services.
  4. Focusing on consumer intent to envision new 5G new cases.
  5. Accelerating availability of existing and new use cases through partnerships.

The survey’s methodology was representative of 1.3 billion smartphone users globally, including 220 million 5G subscribers. The full research can be found in Ericsson’s Five ways to a better 5G report.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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