Ericsson: Consumers will pay more for 5G and there are use cases

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Ericsson claims a new report into 5G demonstrates tangible consumer demand to the potential for mobile operators to realise new commercial opportunities.

The Swedish network giant has much to gain from operators investing in new infrastructure and hoped the publication of the 5G Consumer Potential would dispel several industry “myths.” 

These include a lack of consumer demand, an unwillingness to pay a premium, and a lack of use cases.

Ericsson 5G myths

The report says the most immediate benefit that consumers expect from 5G is faster speeds and increased capacity – especially in urban areas – as well as the ability to replace home broadband services with Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)

In the longer-term, there is an appetite to experience new Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and smart home services. This will have a knock-on effect on data consumption that can’t be predicted by analysing 4G usage patterns, argues Ericsson.

This is because higher quality video and new experiences will encourage higher levels of use, as well applications that are still being developed. Ericsson believes one fifth of 5G users will consume as much as 200GB of data on a single device by 2025.

In terms of a premium, the report suggests 5G users would be willing to pay as much as 20 per cent more than what they currently spend, with early adopters would accept a 32 per cent increase. This, however, would be met with demands for faster speeds and enhanced security.

Consumers also expect greater innovations in terms of handsets. As many as 43 per cent believe future smartphones should include foldable designs, holographic projection capabilities and 360-degree cameras.

“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,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research. ”Consumers clearly state that they think smartphones are unlikely to be the sole solution for 5G.”

There are already 260,000 5G subscribers in South Korea, while commercial mobile services will go live in the US and Europe later this year. This includes the UK, where all four major operators plan to launch in 2019.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.