Mobile users are ready for the rollout of next-generation 5G mobile service, with 87% saying they plan to upgrade their phones to a 5G-enabled device, according to a survey by Matrixx Software. In addition, 78% said they’re willing to pay more for a 5G-enabled mobile device, and 88% are willing to pay more for 5G network access.
About 70% of mobile users complained that current 4G service is too slow, not available everywhere and unreliable in heavy traffic areas. Consumers are aware of the promises of 5G service, but half of survey respondents said they’re unsure if 5G will deliver on its potential.
Among the 16% of mobile users who don’t plan to upgrade, the top reasons were: current service was good enough (32%), carriers will eventually provide 5G anyway (24%) and can’t afford to pay more (25%). Matrixx surveyed 4,048 mobile users in the United States and United Kingdom.
The findings suggest that 5G, when it does arrive, could receive a strong welcome by consumers, something marketers should keep in mind. While it is still unclear just when 5G will arrive, with rollouts by wireless carriers moving slowly while Apple isn't expected to launch a 5G phone until 2020, the advertising and marketing applications for 5G will be numerous, especially with improved video download speeds that will keep mobile users engaged with high-resolution content. Those marketers that are prepared for when 5G becomes more widely available could build their brand's perception with early adopters of the tech.
5G hype has been inescapable as major carriers tease at the pending rollouts of the service whose download speeds are 50 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. 5G also promises to revolutionize the world economy with support for augmented and virtual reality applications, autonomous cars, drone fleets, advanced robotics, 3D printing and wearable tech.
Matrixx’s research aligns with PwC’s study that found consumers are willing to pay as much as 16% more for quality customer experiences, including 8% more for a better cell phone plan. Consumers are more sensitive to an improved experience than to the price of 5G. That means wireless carriers, app developers, e-commerce providers and advertisers will need to be mindful of the consumer experience as the 5G rollout progresses.
The rollout of high-speed 5G mobile technology likely will be the next catalyst to jumpstart smartphone sales growth, with Gartner predicting 5G mobile phones sales will total 65 million units in 2020. 5G's rollout will be a significant part of AT&T's and Verizon's content and advertising strategies as they compete more directly against Facebook and Google for mobile ad dollars, Adweek reported.