What Does Ericsson ConsumerLab ‘5G Myth-buster’ Study Say

Keeping in mind the rising opinion that 5G, at present, does not offer much business case for investment, Ericsson has came out with a ‘myth-buster’ that aims at dispelling all such opinions and tried to push for a strong case for the newest communication technology. The ‘myth-buster’ study was commissioned by Ericsson ConsumerLab and primarily tried to dispel four big ‘misconceptions’.

These four myths, as presented by Ericsson, are :

1.       5G offers consumers no short-term benefits.

2.       There are no real use cases for 5G, nor is there a price premium on 5G.

3.       Smartphones will be the “silver bullet” for 5G: the magical single solution to delivering fifth-generation services.

4.       Current usage patterns can be used to predict future 5G demand.

In the study, named 5G Consumer Potential, Ericsson refuted all these claims and offered its explanation supported by data collected through the study.

“Through our research, we have busted four myths about consumers’ views on 5G and answered questions such as whether 5G features will require new types of devices, or whether smartphones will be the silver bullet for 5G. Consumers clearly state that they think smartphones are unlikely to be the sole solution for 5G,” says Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research.

The study says that consumers expect 5G to provide relief from urban network congestion in the near term – especially in megacities, where six in 10 smartphone users report facing network issues in crowded areas. The respondents also anticipate more home broadband choices to be available with the launch of 5G.

The report also dispels the ICT industry myth that consumers are unwilling to pay a premium on 5G. In fact, smartphone users state that they are willing to pay 20% more for fifth-generation services, and half of early adopters as much as 32% more.

However, four in 10 of these high spenders expect new use cases and payment models as well as a secure 5G network in addition to a consistently high internet speed.

Another key finding of the Ericsson ConsumerLab study is that current 4G usage patterns are not indicative of future usage behaviors. It says as video consumption is set to rise with 5G, consumers expect to not only stream video in higher resolutions but also use immersive video formats such as Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR). It will, the study says, result in an additional three hours of video content being watched weekly on mobile devices by the 5G users. It will come from when they watch another hour of video wearing AR glasses or VR headsets.

The study also reveals that one in five smartphone users’ data usage could reach more than 200GB per month on a 5G device by 2025. At present data consumption by users average 30-40 GB per month.

Riding high on these data points, Ericsson ConsumerLab has drawn up a consumer roadmap of use cases involving 31 different applications and services. The roadmap is divided into six use-case categories, namely: entertainment and media; enhanced mobile broadband; gaming and AR/VR applications; smart home and fixed wireless access; automotive and transportation; and shopping and immersive communications.

This latest Ericsson ConsumerLab study is based on 35,000 interviews with smartphone users aged 15 to 69, carried out in 22 different countries. The views of the participants are representative of almost 1 billion people. To gain a perspective on industry sentiment regarding the consumer value of 5G, a further 22 interviews were conducted with experts including academics as well as senior executives working for telecom operators, handset and chip manufacturers, start-ups and think tanks, claimed Ericsson.

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