While enterprises are expected to be one of the early beneficiaries of 5G networks that promise low-latency connectivity for driverless vehicles and factory machinery, consumer use cases of the technology have not been widely discussed.
Ericsson’s latest ConsumerLab study offers a glimpse on how Singapore consumers expect to benefit from 5G. According to the study, which involved interviews with 1,500 respondents in Singapore, more than half believe augmented reality (AR) glasses will become the norm by 2025.
They also expect to make use of the higher bandwidth of 5G networks to watch three hours more of video content, of which an hour will be spent on AR and virtual reality glasses. This will have cumulative effect on mobile data consumption which will grow to as much as 200GB per month by 2025.
Besides entertainment, Singapore consumers appear to be warming up to smart home solutions, with smart home sensors expected to be one of the top two applications for 5G, the other being 5G TV services.
And the good news, at least for telcos, is that Singapore consumers are willing to pay a 52% premium for 5G services.
That consumer expectations of 5G revolve around video and rich media content should come as no surprise and mirrors similar expectations of 4G networks when they were first launched.
The bigger takeaway from Ericsson’s study lies in the growing reception towards smart home offerings, which haven’t really taken off in a big way due in part to the disparate markets for home IoT devices.
Telcos looking to capitalise on the 5G-powered smart home trend will have to take up the systems integrator mantle – like what they’ve been doing for enterprise customers – and make it easy for consumers to use and manage smart home solutions.
Globally, Ericsson expects 5G coverage to reach at least 45% of the world’s population by the end of 2024, thanks to the use of spectrum sharing technology that lets telcos deploy 5G and 4G services using the same spectrum.
Device and chipset makers have already laid the groundwork for 5G devices, with smartphones for the main spectrum bands expected to hit the market over the course of this year. This will drive the global number of 5G subscriptions to more than 10 million by the end of 2019.