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Ericsson ConsumerLab: 5G performance influences South African customers’ loyalty

Press release
Nov 23, 2023
Cartoon image of people working on mobile phones and using extended reality services over 5G

A new Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) ConsumerLab report titled "5G Value: Turning performance into loyalty" has revealed some unique insights and consumer trends about 5G in South Africa.

The satisfaction and user-loyalty-focused report highlights the Communications Service Providers (CSPs) business case potential for 5G as growing number of subscribers around the world including South Africa express increased satisfaction with 5G.

It also reveals that unsatisfactory 5G connectivity experiences at key locations such as stadiums, entertainment arenas and airports can make customers globally up to three times more likely to switch communications service providers.

The comprehensive research reflects the views of 1,220 consumers surveyed in South Africa, including over 370 active 5G customers, and also represents the views of 4 million 5G users and 26 million consumers in the country. This is part of the comprehensive Ericsson research series, which has tracked the evolution of the 5G consumer market since 2019. 

The research also shows that the factors influencing consumer satisfaction in South Africa are related to traditional metrics such as mobile data upload and download speeds, but also evolving to more application-experience-based metrics such as video streaming quality, video calling experience, and 5G coverage at indoor locations.

Hossam Kandeel, Vice President, Head of Global Customer Unit MTN and Customer Unit MTN Africa at Ericsson Market Area Middle East and Africa, says: "South Africa is among the countries experiencing 5G growth, providing remarkable prospects for communication service providers to leverage and monetize. As highlighted in the report, there is a growing user satisfaction with network performance and an impressive impact of the 5G network on video streaming and augmented reality usage. What is particularly intriguing is how 5G network performance shapes consumer loyalty, making superior service a key factor for customer retention. Our commitment to collaborating with partners to unlock the full potential of 5G remains unwavering as we strive to connect lives, empower businesses, and advance the sustainable future of South Africa and the continent."

Other findings

The report addresses how a surge in 5G user engagement, and consequently mobile data consumption, is driven by the bundling of 5G rich enhanced video - such as 4K, 360-degree experiences, multi-view videos and augmented reality (AR) applications - on 5G plans.

On average, 5G users globally report a 47 percent increase in time spent on enhanced video formats over the past two years. The number of daily augmented reality (AR) application users has doubled since the end of 2020.

The report identifies four key trends in South Africa:

5G is reshaping video streaming and AR usage. The advent of 5G is significantly impacting video streaming and augmented reality (AR) usage. The surge in user engagement is driven by the enhanced capabilities of video and AR applications.

5G progress is elevating consumer satisfaction. 5G has stepped in to elevate user satisfaction, elevating overall satisfaction by a remarkable 32 percent compared to 4G. 5G satisfaction is also increasing year or year by 13 percent, with 48 percent of 5G users being very satisfied with their 5G experience.

5G performance at key locations influences consumer loyalty. Consumer loyalty in 5G is heavily influenced by network performance at key locations. In South Africa, 17 percent of 5G users have switched service providers since the launch of 5G. 50 percent of those who changed operators did so primarily due to the 5G network's performance. The main performance related reasons for switching included network speed and stability of mobile data connectivity.

5G consumers are willing to pay premiums for differentiated connectivity. 5G consumers are willing to pay premiums for an enhanced connectivity experience. Smartphone users are willing to pay an average premium of 17 percent for app bundles in 5G, 16 percent premium for quality of service-led offerings.


More than 37,000 consumers in 28 countries were interviewed during May and June 2023. The research scope is reflective of the opinions of about 1.5 billion consumers, including 650 million 5G users.

Read the full report: 5G Value: Turning performance into loyalty



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Ericsson enables communications service providers and enterprises to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans the following business areas: Networks, Cloud Software and Services, Enterprise Wireless Solutions, Global Communications Platform, and Technologies and New Businesses. It is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s innovation investments have delivered the benefits of mobility and mobile broadband to billions of people globally. Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York.