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India to witness accelerated 5G adoption, says new survey

According to a new Ericsson Consumer Lab global survey, 31 million users in India are expected to upgrade to 5G phones in 2023

Customers at an Apple Inc. store during the first day of sale of the iPhone 15 smartphone in Mumbai, India, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
Customers at an Apple Inc. store during the first day of sale of the iPhone 15 smartphone in Mumbai, India, on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. (Bloomberg)

The adoption of 5G in India is expected to become much more widespread in the near future.

Based on tech attitudes and affordability, 31 million users in India could upgrade to 5G phones in 2023, a new global survey by Ericsson Consumer Lab reveals, presenting a vast opportunity for further 5G adoption in the country.

Also read: The best smartphones to make the leap from 4G to 5G

According to the study, released on 3 October, 5G users in India stand out for their high daily engagement with apps, such as streaming HD video, video calling services, mobile gaming and augmented reality. On an average, they spend two hours more per week using these services compared to users in other early adopter 5G markets such as US, United Kingdom, South Korea, China and many others.

The report, titled 5G value: Turning performance into loyalty, also says that 1 in 5 users are willing to pay a 14% premium for innovative services and differentiated 5G connectivity.

According to a press release, India's 5G satisfaction levels and perceived 5G availability match or surpass those in early adopter markets. India boasts a remarkable 13 percent higher share of very satisfied 5G users compared to the early adopter market average. Overall satisfaction increases by a substantial 30 percent when transitioning from 4G to 5G, with higher download speeds playing a key role in driving this satisfaction, the release adds.

The survey also highlighted that 5G performance in important locations significantly influences user satisfaction and switching decisions. Users experiencing connectivity issues at event venues are three times more likely to consider changing service providers in the next six months. Conversely, a positive 5G experience at key locations, such as in transit or at home, can boost satisfaction by four times, the survey findings said.

Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of Ericsson Consumer Lab, says about 39% of 5G consumers polled believed that increased data allowances in their 5G plans would justify premium rate charges from communications service providers: “Interestingly, about 24 percent of 5G consumers polled express a clear preference for differentiated Quality of service (QoS) over 5G. Rather than settling for generic, best-effort 5G performance, these users are actively seeking elevated and consistent network performance, especially tailored for demanding applications and specific key locations. The research shows that one in five smartphone users are willing to pay an average premium of 14 percent for 5G rich app bundled plans or QoS-led offerings.”

The survey also earmarked several 5G use cases that resonate with Indian consumers and are willing to pay a premium for these. Some of these services include 3D/AR Books Digital Library, 5G creator package, 5G optimized mobile gaming, immersive replays, enhanced event experience and so on.

The new Consumer Lab Study was conducted earlier this year and represents the views of 1.5 billion consumers across 28 global markets. In India, the survey reflects the views of 50 million 5G users and 250 million consumers across tier 1-3 cities in India. Globally, 10,000 active 5G users were interviewed, encompassing 650 million 5G users worldwide.

Also read: Global 5G subscriptions reach close to 1.3 billion: report

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