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Immersive video uptake increases as 5G usage changes already

Ericsson’s Five Ways to a Better 5G report is based on a study of 5G consumer sentiment and perception in 26 markets, exploring key trends behind the adoption, use and perception of consumers with and towards 5G, uncovering the status of commercialisation of the key use cases and examining what services consumers value most and are willing to pay for. It is said to be representative of 1.3 billion smartphone users globally – taking the views of users in the US, China, South Korea, and the UK – including that of 220 million 5G subscribers.

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The study observed how 5G is already beginning to trigger new use behaviours. It found that by the end of 2020, increased awareness of service and value benefits could have resulted in 22% more smartphone users with 5G-ready handsets upgrading to 5G subscriptions. In addition, as many as a fifth of 5G users were already reducing Wi-Fi use on their phones indoors because of the benefits of 5G mobile connectivity.

Covid-19 lockdowns and movement restrictions meant that the vast majority of 5G early adopters’ regular experiences with the technology were indoors. As a result, early adopters indicate that indoor coverage is two times more important than speed or battery life in delivering satisfactory 5G experiences. While 5G users were satisfied with the speed that next-generation networks can deliver, about 70% were dissatisfied with the availability of 5G’s new services and new apps.

In addition to reducing Wi-Fi use, early adopter 5G users were also found to be spending an average of two hours more on cloud gaming and one hour more on augmented reality (AR) apps per week compared with 4G users. And in what us great news for operators, consumers were willing to pay 20-30% more for 5G plans bundled with digital service use cases.

Given the trends revealed, Ericsson said service providers needed to go beyond existing bundled services, such as video streaming, that were already available on 4G and move towards services that could differentiate a 5G experience and promote a sense of novelty and exclusivity. Among other recommendations, the Five Ways to a Better 5G report also advised operators to ensure consistent quality of indoor and outdoor 5G coverage, adapt to network requirements for new 5G services and focus on consumer intent to envision new 5G use cases. Rapid TV News

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