The future of 5G: What consumers really expect
This article was originally featured in Light Reading’s 5G Exchange.
Consumers are familiar with 5G, but do they know what it can enable beyond faster speeds?
5G rollout will be a process for years to come, but 2020 is sure to be a monumental shift as the technology begins to prove its value. With many 5G-equipped smartphones entering the market later this year, consumers are starting to experience the initial benefits, which at the moment is mainly speed. For communications service providers (CSPs), 5G could provide them with the means to ultimately monetize new services differently.
To better understand what consumers really want from 5G, Amdocs surveyed 2,000 consumers regarding their opinions on future 5G experiences. The data revealed that 5G has the power to impact several notable aspects of consumers' personal and professional lives, and illustrates why CSPs must capitalize on this interest by offering new and enhanced services. Notable findings include:
Looking beyond the speed
When we talk about 5G, consumers have come to expect faster speeds that allow quick downloads and seamless streaming, but they are starting to realize that such offerings are only the tip of the iceberg.
One emerging area that will be further impacted is the entertainment space. For example, data from the Amdocs survey showed that 26% of consumers expect 5G to improve cloud and online gaming quality. Another 64% are interested in using 5G for better AR/VR experiences around specific events, such as the Super Bowl and the Oscars. 5G's main benefit here is the capability to do things on-the-go that were limited to the home.
With 5G opening so many doors for consumers, CSPs have a clear opportunity to monetize the next wave of connectivity themselves, offering monthly subscription services bundled with hardware. A superior experience is no longer limited to expensive equipment. This democratizes high-end content and experiences for the masses with low-latency, high-bandwidth connectivity.
Bundle 3.0: The new customer choice
Consumers have already adapted to combining phone, TV, and Internet into convenient bundles, but with 5G, we will see the launch of partner ecosystems. Offering consumers this new bundle of services could create a notable revenue opportunity, especially considering that most (70%) would pay an additional monthly fee for 5G as part of a bundle.
As we look toward the future, OTT services like video and gaming will help mold the flexible bundling of the 3.0 ecosystem. If service providers can provide simple, frictionless authentication and management of the family profile, coupled with various payment methods within a rich ecosystem of today's best OTT services, this could provide an opportunity. It allows them to re-engage a dis-intermediated word of different login credentials and payment methods multiplied across thousands of partners.
Working in the age of 5G
With the help of 5G, consumers expect their remote work experience to be seamless, delivering a guaranteed quality of service.
According to the Amdocs survey findings, 35% believe the technology will lead to better video conferencing options. In addition, 32% anticipate better video training and development opportunities, which would require real-time, immediate interactions. Given these use cases, 61% believe 5G will create more opportunities to work remotely with ubiquitous access. As this trend continues to grow, 5G will play a critical role in supporting next-generation workforces by breaking down barriers between the physical and virtual workplaces.
Consumers are always on the lookout for the next significant technological advancement, and the data proves that they're looking for more than just improvements to speed and quality. As use cases extend far beyond the basic functions we've seen in the past, and with consumers catching on, 5G has the potential to be a true game-changer.
By educating consumers on these potential benefits and offering them a simple, easy way to add the service to their existing bundle, CSPs have a tremendous opportunity in front of them. The ones who recognize this opportunity and creatively monetized it are sure to succeed.