How do we increase excitement around 5G?
I think everyone agrees that 5G was the hottest topic at this year’s Mobile World Congress. But even with the hype coming closer to becoming reality, two issues remain at the forefront: how to monetize 5G, and whether consumers are willing to buy into it.
In a survey of 1,000 consumers by PwC, just 31% said they would pay more (on average, $4.40) for mobile 5G with only 26% saying they would immediately buy a 5G phone. So this seems to indicate that it is the wrong approach for service providers to merely ask consumers to pay more; as the survey shows us, many will say that they don’t need a faster connection.
So what should the industry do?
Innovative use cases vs. faster speed
It’s clear that focusing solely on faster speeds is not the right approach either. Instead, we should be asking what consumers can do with 5G that they couldn’t do before.
Nissan presented a great 5G use case at MWC where drivers can “see the invisible” by merging both real and virtual worlds into their dash display. Through the use of 5G, drivers can track their surroundings and anticipate what’s ahead. There’s also the promise of fixed wireless broadband so consumers can use one internet package anywhere they are. We need to get customers to understand that 5G is more than just phones and devices. It’s a powerful technology around new services that will define our digital society.
Intelligence is critical, and more than personalization
To bring 5G to life, we need to start thinking about how to connect intelligence to it. For years, intelligence has been used for personalization, but now we need to think bigger.
In keeping with the car theme, Mercedes developed a self-driving, transformable concept car that composed of a self-learning IT structure which can communicate with the world around it (side note: this was one of the coolest things I saw at MWC19). How can this be done, and how can we charge for it? You guessed it -- by leveraging intelligence in our networks, and in our charging systems.
So where should we start when integrating intelligence? Look at how we can take manual processes and seamlessly automate them.
Focus on the core
As 5G rolls out, service providers have to remain focused on the core customer experience; not just on launching a network they can charge more for. By keeping an eye on the ball, delivering compelling use cases and injecting intelligence into our systems, we, as an industry, can ensure that 5G is a success.
What do you think about 5G? Any use cases you’re excited about? Leave me your comments.
This blog was originally posted on Manuel’s LinkedIn. Follow Manuel on Twitter.