Ericsson ConsumerLab report uncovers consumer potential of 5G

  • Australians have high expectations around when 5G will become available, with 46% of Aussies expecting 5G to be available within one year
  • Nearly half (49%) of Australians do not find mobile broadband speeds fast enough. Network congestion is also regarded as a key problem, with 40% saying they face issues with 4G in crowded areas
  • Almost a third of Australian consumers will switch providers if their operator does not switch on 5G within a 6-month period of other providers
Press release
May 13, 2019

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has released a new ConsumerLab report, 5G Consumer Potential, which busts industry myths surrounding the value of 5G for consumers and outlines the opportunities available for communications service providers.

Backed by solid research from one of the biggest ever 5G consumer expectation studies, the report looks at the potential of 5G to benefit consumers, uncovering certain realities about them (“consumer realities”) to bust the following four common industry myths:

  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.

Conducted globally, the research involved 35,000 interviews with smartphone users aged 15 to 69, in 22 different countries. In Australia the report statistically represents the opinions of 13 million smartphone users. The study brings some sense of reality to the ongoing debate in the ICT industry about whether there is an opportunity for a premium consumer offering based on 5G’s extra capabilities.

The key findings of the study include the fact that consumers expect 5G to provide relief from urban network congestion in the near term – especially in Australia’s bigger cities, where nearly half (47%) 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, Australian smartphone users state that they are willing to pay 20 percent more for fifth-generation services, and early adopters as much as 42 percent more. However, whilst 6 in 10 are willing to pay for 5G services that are relevant to them, they also expect services like 5G TV, Smart home and 5G Hot zones access to be bundled with a 5G plan. High spenders on 5G also expect new use cases that uniquely leverage 5G capabilities and a secure network.

Another key finding is that current 4G usage patterns are not indicative of future usage behaviors. Video consumption is set to rise significantly with 5G. Australian 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), resulting in an additional two hours of video content being watched weekly on mobile devices by users in the 5G future when they are out and about, including half an hour wearing AR glasses or VR headsets. The study also reveals that data usage for one in five users could reach more than 160GB per month on a 5G device by 2025.

From these insights and more, 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.

Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research, says: “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.”

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, says: “As one of the largest studies of its kind this report provides invaluable insights into the value of 5G for consumers and the opportunities available for operators. As part of the study we know that consumers expect 5G to offer a step change in network performance. There is a lot of potential to introduce new use cases, and that consumers are willing to pay a premium for the 5G services that are relevant to them.”

With 35,000 interviews across 22 different countries, The Ericsson ConsumerLab study is representative of almost 1 billion people globally. 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.

Download the report here.


ConsumerLab – the voice of the consumer
Towards a 5G consumer future
Find out more about Ericsson 5G.


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Ericsson enables communications service providers to capture the full value of connectivity. The company’s portfolio spans Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services, and Emerging Business and is designed to help our customers go digital, increase efficiency and find new revenue streams. Ericsson’s investments in innovation have delivered the benefits of telephony and mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. The Ericsson stock is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and on Nasdaq New York.