The impact that 5G is already having on smartphone users worldwide including Oman and what they expect the technology to deliver in the future is been highlighted in a new report by Ericsson ConsumerLab.
Indoor coverage is one of the focus areas to emerge from consumer research, with one-in-five 5G users already reducing Wi-Fi use on their phones indoors because of the benefits of 5G mobile connectivity.
The report - Five Ways to a Better 5G - is the result of the largest global 5G consumer study to date. Covering consumer sentiment and perception in 26 markets - including Oman, the Ericsson ConsumerLab study methodology is representative of 1.3 billion smartphone users globally, including 220 million 5G subscribers.
The report explores key trends behind the adoption, use and perception of consumers with and towards 5G. Highlighting the broader consumer readiness for 5G, 20 per cent of respondents in Oman affirm having a 5G phone but are still on a 4G network.
Another key report finding reveals that In Oman, 35 per cent of 5G potential users are expecting innovative data offerings from a 5G plan. The report also highlights how 5G is already beginning to trigger new user behaviours.
In addition to reducing Wi-Fi use, early adopter 5G users also spend an average of two hours more on cloud gaming and one hour more on augmented reality (AR) apps per week compared to 4G users.
Covid-19 lockdowns and movement restrictions mean that the vast majority of 5G early adopters’ regular experiences with the technology have been indoors.
As a result, early adopters indicate that indoor coverage is two times more important than speed or battery life in delivering satisfactory 5G experiences.
The report also outlines five ways for communications service providers (CSPs) to meet consumer expectations both in the immediate and longer terms, including:
Addressing the knowledge gap by educating and better marketing the value of 5G to consumers. In Oman, 20 per cent more smartphone users would have taken up 5G had the knowledge gap been addressed.
Ensuring consistent quality of indoor and outdoor 5G coverage
Adapting to network requirements for new 5G services
Focusing on consumer intent to envision new 5G use cases
Accelerating the availability of existing and new use cases through ecosystem partnerships
Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research, says, “So far, analyses of 5G network experiences have mostly focused on 5G speeds and availability based on independent network measurements. But it is equally important to understand how 5G early adopters perceive that experience. With Ericsson ConsumerLab’s five recommendations and insights, CSPs can encourage 5G adoption and meet consumer expectations.”