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What do consumers want from 5G?

Ericsson study details consumer 5G “wish list”

Enterprise and industrial use cases for 5G are fairly well-established and in line with increasing demand for capacity and latency to support things like automated robotics, drone-based services and instantaneous access to cloud services. But beyond just faster access to cat videos, what do consumers want from 5G?

Ericsson Consumer and Industry labs analyzed that question in a recent report titled “Towards a 5G consumer future.” The infrastructure vendor’s goal is to use consumer research to help operators plan and deploy next-generation networks. In terms of methodology, the findings are based on a survey of 14,000 iPhone and Android users between the ages of 15 and 65 and located in Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the United Kingdom and United States.

“Our latest study does not look at a consumer view on 5G in isolation, but rather uncovers unmet consumer needs that must be fulfilled by operators on the way to 5G,” Jasmeet Sethi, Senior Advisor, Ericsson Consumer and Industry Lab, said in a statement. “From offering an effortless buying experience to focusing on real network performance, consumers are demanding changes they would like to see already made today.”

Here’s a look at some of the primary outcomes consumers want from 5G:

    • Simplification of mobile data plans that create more alignment “between what users buy and what they use;”
    • “A sense of the unlimited. Peace of mind rather than actual use is the main motivator behind buying unlimited data plans and operators are urged to explore alternative ways to offer this feeling of freedom;”
    • The ability to turn unused data for transactional purposes like saving, trading or transferring to other user or users;
    • Increased personalization of data plans that reflect the evolution of consumer-facing services such as bundled access to content and video streaming;
    • Beyond just faster network speeds, users are also looking for “improvements such as better battery life and the ability to connect not only devices but also the internet of things.” To the IoT angle, Ericsson found demand for new pricing models beyond just payment for data usage, but the ability “to pay a single fee for each 5G service or connected device;”
    • A focus on actual network experience rather than “baseless marketing slogans…The report shows that only 4% trust operators’ own advertising and network performance statistics.”

 

 

ABOUT AUTHOR

Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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