The emergence of 5G networks could offer an opportunity for cellular technology to compete with Wi-Fi.

Consumer insights

Today, 82 percent of consumers prefer Wi-Fi to mobile broadband. Operators have often discussed offloading mobile networks through the use of Wi-Fi solutions. But Wi-Fi’s reign could be shifting. In our ConsumerLab study, a third of global consumers, who prefer Wi-Fi for factors such as speed, reliability, security and video experiences, expect 5G to outperform Wi-Fi.

Adding 5G capacity to the network, the need to offload mobile networks no longer exists. An ‘always on’ mobile network approach that seamlessly handles all traffic at home and outdoors, means that consumers will receive a more convenient and hassle-free user experience. This aligns with the fact that consumers with large data buckets spend a greater share of their time on mobile, compared to Wi-Fi. The large capacity enabled by 5G will make it more convenient for users to stay on the mobile network, rather than switching between Wi-Fi and mobile.

Consumer expectations on 5G vs Wi-Fi performance

Solution: Challenge consumers’ perception of Wi-Fi

For operators, 5G is an opportunity to challenge consumers’ perception that Wi-Fi is a better value for money, superior alternative to mobile broadband. With a single mobile service, combining 4G and 5G, consumers will gain a streamlined user experience - Wi-Fi passwords become a thing of the past.
The high capacity of 5G will improve the potential to monetize mobile data. By allowing for larger data plans, consumers will not feel restricted in their consumption of mobile data. But keep in mind, data plans should be crafted carefully, to leverage the opportunity to monetize the demand for new 5G services.

More content about 5G for consumers

How 5G can improve your consumer business

The first application for 5G will be enhanced mobile broadband primarily addressing consumers. We have looked at the business case. Telecom operators have a window of opportunity to considerably improve their consumer business with 5G.

The 5G business case for enhanced mobile broadband

Enhanced mobile broadband will be the first commercial application of 5G and can help operators improve their consumer business. Our study reveals that the evolution to 5G can enable a 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G networks.

Towards a 5G consumer future: Six calls to action

This ConsumerLab report uncovers six calls to action from consumers, which operators must act on to drive consumer satisfaction and monetize mobile broadband for a 5G future.

5G deployment considerations

Ericsson’s network technology enables evolution from 4G to full 5G deployment through natural, step-wise implementation that balances investments, revenue streams and competitiveness while minimizing risk. Our paper outlines how. Read the new edition with expanded sections on core network evolution and spectrum strategies.