One in three UK consumers to buy 5G smart phone, with high hopes of streaming

Angela Logothetis of Amdocs

Research from Amdocs has revealed that 35% of UK consumers plan to buy a 5G smartphone in 2020. While the study of 1,000 UK consumers revealed there is a demand for 5G devices, it also showed awareness of the fifth generation standard in the UK is widespread, less than since the first 5G network deployment in the country.

Regarding consumer understanding of 5G technology, the research found that:

  • Only 5% of the UK public has not heard of 5G
  • 55% of UK consumers claim to know what 5G is, but only a basic understanding of its benefits over 4G, and
  • 40% of the UK public claim to have an understanding of 5G’s technical benefits, such as gigabit-speed, low-latency connectivity.

The research indicates that 5G marketing from communication service providers (CSPs) is clearly having an impact on consumers – only 30% of respondents claiming that they have no intention to buy a 5G smartphone at all. But more can be done to promote the wider benefits of the technology.

Consumers look to 5G for streaming boost and remote working opportunities

When asked which services they are interested in utilising a 5G handset for, Internet browsing came first (selected by 81%), followed by streaming services (74% ) and connected home devices (32% ). Currently ranking low on the list were some of the newer and more innovative services that 5G promises to support, such as VR and AR (16% ) and cloud gaming (27% ).

Consumers also recognise the benefit of 5G to their remote and mobile work experience. According to the findings, 35 % believe the technology will lead to better video conference options, 32% anticipate better video training and development opportunities, and 61% believe it will create more opportunities to work remotely with faster internet.

Angela Logothetis, CTO, open networks at Amdocs says: “Consumers’ first experience of 5G will be a faster, more responsive and consistent experience for the types of things we do today – internet access, streaming video, accessing and storing photos in the cloud. We will see service providers start to bundle and monetise these popular applications and content as part of 5G.

“The more futuristic services – driverless cars, VR and AR technology – will take time, although we are seeing interest in early capabilities like augmented reality street maps. There is definitely an opportunity for new killer 5G use cases to be developed to drive demand for 5G,” Logothetis adds.

The opportunity for mobile operators

Logothetis continues, “Our experience in Asia and North America shows that 5G plans for minutes, text and data are priced competitively with 4G plans as service providers race to grow their 5G subscriber base. Over time, service providers will look to differentiate their 5G services.

“Service providers won’t just want to be the fastest network – they will want to be the fastest network for streaming video, or the most responsive network for multiplayer gaming. Being able to deliver and monetise this quality of service will be key to revenue growth. Amdocs’ research indicates that half of UK consumers would consider bundling 5G with their home internet packages, and 25% with OTT (over-the-top) video services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime,” she concludes.

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