Critical Communications

Canada readies for 4 million 5G users

23 November 2022

In a consumer survey from Ericsson, the market for 5G in Canada is set to explode in the next 12 to 15 months with more than four million smartphone users upgrading to 5G services.

Although Canada has had 5G network services available sine 2020, the user base has grown sixfold over the past two years, according to the Ericsson survey. Now, eight in 10 current 5G users in Canada won’t return to 4G but will instead get a 5G handset.

However, there is still work that needs to be done in educating consumers. The survey said that 15% of users claim they are on 5G but use a 4G handset while another 18% own a 5G capable device but have not upgraded to a 5G subscription.

"We've seen globally that the 5G user base starts to shift towards more demanding mainstream users when more than 15% of smartphone users in the market have made the switch to 5G,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of the Ericsson ConsumerLab. “These mainstream tech adopters are more value-conscious and have higher expectations than early adopters driven by new technology.”

Sethi said the trends show that 5G is coming more mainstream and service providers need to get ready for more consumers looking to make the switch.

While 5G coverage has reached 75%, only 33% of Canadian 5G users perceive being connected more than 50% of the time. Additionally, the survey shows that more than three digital services are being used daily by Canadian 5G users spending time on metaverse-related activities or streaming video and more.

Ericsson said this is the largest global 5G-related consumer survey in the industry to date that includes views from 1,200 consumers in Canada that were interviewed in 2022. The full scope of the survey represents about 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, including 430 million 5G subscribers.

“This demonstrates the new business model opportunities the next wave of 5G presents for service providers by bundling digital services and focusing on quality of service for demanding applications like gaming and extended reality (XR),” said Yasir Hussain, vice president and CTO of Ericsson Canada.

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