Ericsson study shows 5G changing smartphone users’ behaviour

Photo: Ericsson

By Mikhail Raj Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR: Swedish telecommunication giant Ericsson has highlighted the impact that 5G is already having on smartphone users worldwide and what they expect the technology to deliver in the future.

The telco said in its study — Five Ways to a Better 5G — carried out by its knowledge-based unit, Ericsson ConsumerLab, is the result of the largest global 5G consumer study to date.

The study encompasses consumer sentiment and perception in 26 markets, including the United States, China, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

The findings of the study, released in a report today, noted that 5G users worldwide spend more time with cloud gaming and Augmented Reality (AR).

Combining real and computer-based scenes and images to deliver a unified but enhanced view of the world, AR is a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer-generated display, sound, text and effects to enhance the user’s real-world experience.

Indoor coverage is one of the focus areas to emerge from the study, with one-in-five 5G users already reducing WiFi use on their phones indoors because of the benefits of 5G mobile connectivity.

“Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are all poised to experience this soon as the study gives a glimpse into what can be expected as well as what consumers are expecting,” Ericsson Malaysia president David Hagerbo said in a statement today.

The company said it would use the insights from the report to deliver a satisfying 5G experience in countries such as Malaysia where it intends to make a difference with their knowledge and know-how.

However, the report also found that while 5G users are satisfied with speed, about 70 per cent are dissatisfied with the availability of innovative services and new apps.

Consumers say they are willing to pay 20 to 30 percent more for 5G plans bundled with new digital services.

The report also says that seven in ten 5G users expect more innovative services and apps, with indoor coverage rated two times more important than speed or battery life for early adopters.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab study methodology is representative of 1.3 billion smartphone users globally, including 220 million 5G subscribers.

A key report finding reveals that even by the end of 2020, increased awareness of service and value benefits could have resulted in 22 per cent more smartphone users with 5G-ready handsets upgrading to 5G subscriptions.

The report also highlighted how 5G is already beginning to trigger new user behaviour.

Early 5G users spend an average of two hours or more on cloud gaming and one hour more on AR apps per week compared with 4G users.

Covid-19 lockdowns and movement restrictions mean that the vast majority of 5G early adopters’ regular experiences with the technology have been indoors, the report added.

As a result, early adopters indicate that indoor coverage is two times more important than speed or battery life in delivering satisfactory 5G experiences. – Bernama