5G is all set to enter the Indian market in the coming weeks and a report shows that users couldn’t be more excited to hop on to the fifth generation network. Ookla, global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights, has released the findings of a consumer survey which reveals almost 89% of the Indian consumers are ready to switch to 5G.
The survey was commissioned among smartphone users, aged 18 and above, across urban and rural areas of India to understand the current mobile behaviour of Indian consumers. According to the findings of the consumer survey by Ookla, 89% of respondents have shown interest in upgrading to 5G connectivity. Out of these, 48% of the people would even switch network providers to adopt 5G as soon as possible.
20% of the respondents would wait for their service providers to upgrade to the 5G network. 14% of respondents intend to avail the services after upgrading to a 5G enabled handset, and 7% would wait for their current contract period to end. “Those that aren’t sure about the new technology will likely wait to see how attractive it is once others start using it. Only 2% stated that they don’t intend to upgrade to 5G”, read the report.
How will Indian consumers use 5G once it rolls out?
Gaming & Video Streaming would boom
Ookla’s survey reveals that if mobile internet connections were better, 70% of respondents would increase their use of video streaming, while 68% stated they would boost their mobile gaming. Operators acquired a total of 44,960 MHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz spectrum band (mmWave), which due to its high throughput, is particularly useful for streaming and gaming.
Meanwhile, other consumer behaviours such as online shopping, mobile money, and watching esports aren’t impacted as much by high network speeds. Indeed, just over half of the respondents said they would use these services the same amount of time despite network upgrades.
People want faster speeds
42% of respondents believe that faster speeds would most improve service currently being provided to them. Both Airtel and Jio splurged on C-band spectrum at auction, acquiring spectrum in all of the 22 telecom circles, while Vodafone acquired spectrum only in its priority circles. “In addition to faster speeds, 24% of respondents desire a more reliable connection, while 21% want better indoor coverage. However, only 1 in 10 respondents pointed to better outdoor coverage as a factor that would be most beneficial”, read the report.
The delay in 5G rollout was beneficial
This is because there’s decrease of the cost of 5G hardware as the technology and vendor ecosystem continues to mature. Following the spectrum auction, Bharti Airtel has already contracted Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung to deploy 5G services in August 2022. Indian operators’ move to embrace Open RAN will drive network costs even lower. Another key factor is the 5G device ecosystem, with 5G smartphone prices falling since the technology launched. According to Ookla’s Consumer Survey, almost half of respondents have a 5G ready handset.
Challenges to overcome
Ookla’s survey results reveal that the key reason for not upgrading to 5G is the cost of the 5G tariff which consumers are expecting to be much expensive. Over a quarter of those who don’t plan to upgrade said that they think the 5G tariff cost would be too expensive, followed by 24% stating lack of 5G knowledge as an issue, and 23% not having a 5G capable phone. Only 1.4% of the overall respondents are satisfied with the existing network performance and would not upgrade to 5G.