Survey: Users will pay for 5G benefits

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As carriers worldwide continue the race to 5G, digital commerce platform specialist MATRIXX Software recently connected with over 4,000 mobile users across the US and the UK to find out just how much value they place on the next-generation network.

Survey results followed similar patterns on both sides of the pond, with mobile users looking toward 5G as a means to solving their current connectivity problems. More importantly, for the mobile ecosystem looking to profit from the launch of 5G, respondents revealed a willingness to open their wallets if 5G delivers an enhanced connectivity experience.

Survey respondents were quick to share how current 4G services are wearing out their welcome, with nearly 70 per cent of mobile users surveyed across both continents complaining that 4G connectivity is too slow, isn’t available everywhere, and connections are not reliable in heavy traffic areas. While consumers are well aware of the promises touted by operators around pending 5G technology, half of respondents are unsure if 5G will deliver on its potential.

Underscoring the importance for operators to communicate properly the value of 5G, the survey highlighted that consumers are willing to increase their spending for 5G benefits when they buy-in to the promise of the technology. Specifically, of the 33 per cent of consumers who expressed confidence that 5G will be the answer to their connectivity issues:

  • 87 per cent plan to upgrade their phones to a 5G-enabled device
  • 78 per cent are willing to pay more for those 5G-enabled mobile devices
  • 88 per cent are willing to pay more for 5G network access
  • 76 per cent say they will switch carriers to get 5G connectivity

This aligns with recent research from PwC that found consumers are willing to pay a price premium of as much as 16 percent for quality customer experiences.

“The feedback from consumers paints a very clear picture for operators — ‘deliver a 5G experience worth the attention, and we’ll gladly pay for the privilege of using it,’” said Dave Labuda, founder, CEO, and CTO of MATRIXX Software. “In an industry fighting to keep customers amidst consolidation and competition from digital MVNOs and OTT players, 5G presents a real opportunity to deliver a powerful value-add to the consumer.”

“Speed to network isn’t the whole battle. The operator who wins the 5G race will be the one to deliver an entirely new experience that trumps what is available to consumers today.”

While only 16 per cent of consumers said they do not believe 5G will solve their current frustrations with their mobile service, not surprisingly, these respondents would not pay more for 5G. However, when taking a closer look at the reasons why, only 19 per cent said the potential benefits didn’t justify the added cost. Instead, these consumers were more apt to respond:

  • Their current service was good enough (32 per cent)
  • That carriers will eventually provide 5G anyway (24 per cent)
  • They simply couldn’t afford to pay more (25 per cent)

These findings confirm that delivering value from 5G will prove far more critical in its adoption than price sensitivity. Additional research from Strategy Analytics into 5G adoption has highlighted similar concerns, demonstrating that operators will see little return for network superiority if not tied directly to enhanced consumer experience.


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