It’s not only the current network performance that steers consumer perceptions, it’s the continuous improvements that makes the difference. When service providers deploy 5G, consumer satisfaction will depend on consistent and effective network evolution over time.

Consumer insights

For close to 60 percent of smartphone users, the highest expectation for 5G is to deliver speeds faster than current mobile networks. Across the globe, data consumption is increasing by more than 40 percent every year. Video in particular will account for 75 percent of network traffic by 2024, up from 55 percent today. Networks will need to adapt from Standard and High Definition video resolution to 2K and 4K, placing higher requirements on speed and quality. Further into the future, services like AR/VR applications will put even higher requirements on network performance. This demand for better customer experience means that operators must continuously adapt and expand network capacity.

Consumer expectations on 5G

Solution: Build capacity where it’s needed

Consumers want both smooth experiences and obvious incremental improvements in network speeds to feel satisfied with network performance. Evolving networks towards 5G is crucial to keeping up with the appetite for higher speeds and quality user experience.

To solve this, mobile service providers need to understand the difference between average performance and ‘cell edge’ performance. Consumers are more likely to remember bad experiences. That is why evaluating the worst 5 to 10 percent of the customers’ experience is a truer measure of quality. It’s also how the deployment of 5G should be focused. To ensure cost-efficiency, the deployment of 5G capacity should start with the most congested sites. Build capacity where it’s needed most and where it will have the highest impact.

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.