Lady on mobile phone outside

According to a new report from Ericsson ConsumerLab, 5G is already starting to trigger new consumer behavior, even though the technology’s availability is still limited.

Among the changes 5G has already produced:

  • Reduced use of Wi-Fi: 5G subscribers are increasingly using 5G indoors due to better and faster connectivity.
  • More gaming: 5G subscribers spend about two more hours cloud gaming per week than those without the technology.
  • More augmented reality usage: 5G subscribers spend about an hour more per week with AR than non-5G subscribers.

Yet, there’s still plenty of room for growth of the technology, with only 10% of U.S. consumers currently having a 5G phone and plan. As many as 14% of consumers think they are on 5G but are using phones only capable of 4G.

The 5G consumer behavior report also found:

  • More than six-in-10 (61%) of 5G users are satisfied with the service, higher than the 40% who are satisfied using 4G LTE.
  • 5G offerings produce more revenues for providers. Consumers are willing to pay up to 30% more for 5G plans bundled with digital service.
  • Yet, improvements need to be made to increase usage and demand for the technology. According to the report, 70% of 5G subscribers are unhappy with the availability of innovative services and new apps.

To meet customer expectations for 5G, the report recommends that carriers:

  • Do a better job marketing the value of 5G to consumers
  • Improve networks to ensure consistent indoor and outdoor 5G coverage
  • Focus on developing new 5G use cases

“So far, analyses of 5G network experiences have mostly focused on 5G speeds and availability based on independent network measurements,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Ericsson Research head of ConsumerLab, in a prepared statement about the 5G consumer behavior report. “But it is equally important to understand how 5G early adopters perceive that experience.”

Though the number of 5G users rose to 401 million last year, the technology is expected to have explosive growth from now through 2025, when the number of worldwide 5G subscribers is expected to be 3.46 billion, according to 5G Americas.

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