Two thirds of smartphone users expect 5G to be mainstream within three years. The success of 5G hinges on its adoption by the 5G Forerunners.

Consumer insights

Representing 14% of global smartphone users the so called 5G Forerunners will be the early adopters of 5G networks. They represent 44% of the smartphone users in South Korea, 40% in China, and 16% in US. This tech savvy consumer segment has high expectations from the new technology.

65% among this segment expects that 5G will bring about new apps and services not seen before while 55% also expect new league of devices to emerge. The success of 5G will hinge on the adoption and appeal of 5G among the early adopters.

To get the most out of launching 5G early the marketing of the new technology will need particular attention. Our study shows that over half of global consumers agree that 3G services were marketed as 4G services, before 4G was widely available, and they expect the same to happen with 5G. Especially the 5G Forerunners suspect that operators will market their existing 4G networks as 5G even before 5G is actually here.

Share who agrees with statment: 3G services were marketed as being 4G before 4G was widely available, I expect the same to occur with 5G.

Solution: Continuously evolve the network and your marketing, stepwise

Nationwide 5G coverage won’t arrive overnight, nor should it be marketed that way. The deployment of new network technology should be done gradually over time as an efficient process to boost the capacity of current 4G networks and enable customers to experience regular, incremental improvements over time. Operators need to be conscious, balanced and strategic in on how they market 5G not to undermine consumers’ understanding of 5G and its potential.

This gradual approach will allow operators to market new releases in a stepwise way and focus on new services enabled by 5G.

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