Like all technological revolutions throughout history the coming 5G deployment has generated intense debate amongst consumers and businesses alike. The discussions centre around the benefits of the technology, its possible use cases, which industries are likely to benefit the most and just how much revenue it will deliver for the telecoms industry. According to the latest research from Ericsson, consumers expect that 5G will provide relief from network related issues in crowded spaces.
Consumers are impatient
The fact that there is already strong demand for 5G services amongst consumers is obvious because they have signaled their intention to change their service providers should 5G not be offered. More than 50 per cent of smartphone users in China and India and 25 per cent in the Australia, US and Canada expect their current provider will switch to 5G or are willing to wait no more than six months before switching to a provider that does offer 5G services.
Willing to pay a premium
There has been intense debate surrounding whether consumers will be willing to pay a premium for access to a 5G network and how much that premium will amount to. Globally smartphone users are willing to pay on average as much as 20 per cent more for access to 5G services with the figure rising to 32 per cent for those who consider themselves early adopters. Consumers who say they would pay a premium for 5G expect there to be new use cases and payment models plus a secure 5G network that consistently delivers high speed internet access.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
Obviously different countries will have different timeframes for the roll out of 5G services, most smartphone users expect that applications and services will be live within two to three years of the 5G network being launched. It is also widely expected that future usage patterns will change significantly from the way 4G networks are used today. Consumers expect not only to be able to stream video at much higher resolutions but they also expect to be able to use immersive video formats such as augmented and virtual reality.
According to Ericsson one in five smartphone users will have data usage that could exceed more than 200GB per month by 2025. Smartphones will have to evolve in line with consumer expectations of folding screens, holographic projection and 360-degree cameras. Globally more than fifty per cent of smartphone users believe that whilst smartphones will continue to exist, most people will be wearing AR smart glasses within five years.
Wireless broadband at home and premium smartphone experiences that allow content to be downloaded within seconds are expected to become mainstream with 12 months after 5G has been launched. The idea will be to move away from the traditional cable TV bundle and instead purchase an ultra-high-definition TV (5G TV) that comes bundled with 5G home wireless broadband. Consumers see the potential in 5G and the business potential for 5G within the telecom industry is expected to be $619 million globally by 2026.