More than 100 million users with 5G-ready smartphones wish to upgrade to a 5G subscription in 2023 while a majority of them are open to adopting a higher data-tiered plan in the next 12 months, a report by Ericsson Consumer Lab has shown.
Titled “Promise of 5G in India”, the study carried out in the second quarter this year reflects the views of 300 million urban smartphone users.
According to the study, consumer 5G readiness remains one of the highest in the world.
“Intention to upgrade to 5G in urban India is two times higher than their counterparts in markets like the UK and US where 5G has already been launched,” Jasmeet Sethi, head of Consumer Lab at Ericsson, said.
Over the past two years, India has witnessed a threefold increase in smartphone users who own a 5G handset, he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to officially inaugurate 5G services in India on October 1.
The report stresses that 5G network superiority could emerge as a driver for consumer loyalty with 59 per cent of smartphone users intending to upgrade to 5G in the first 12 months.
Among them, 36 per cent plan to turn to the best provider of 5G network.
Expectations from the new technology remain high, with 60 per cent of early adopters who have a compatible phone expect 5G to bring new innovative applications, which are considered more appealing than better coverage.
These users are even willing to pay 45 per cent premium for a plan bundled with novel experiences provided their expectations are met.
“Our new generation 5G and multi-band radios that will be deployed across networks will allow for the best user experience, while the improved energy efficiency will reduce the cost of operations and impact on the environment, thereby ensuring sustainable and responsible 5G roll-out,” Nitin Bansal, head of Ericsson India, said.
He added that while 5G will play an important role in achieving India’s digital inclusion goals, especially in bringing broadband to rural and remote homes, the pace of roll-out will be based on the response in key urban markets where it is set to launch first.
The report pointed out that 5G will improve network satisfaction in India, especially for gaming.
Seven in 10 smartphone users are looking forward to enhanced video streaming quality once they switch to 5G. 5G-ready users are already engaging in using more digital services compared to 4G users; 60 per cent of the 5G-ready users are already engaging with more than three digital services.
5G will trigger an increase in consumption of new format high-resolution video streaming and cloud gaming, the report said.
The study tested 27 5G-enhanced services to determine the top 10 that Indian consumers wish for in their 5G plans.
These include health and fitness; 360-degree live video streaming; cloud gaming; 5G TV package; virtual meeting space; immersive education; best-seat event experience; interactive calling; location-based augmented reality shopping; and virtual reality shopping.
On Wednesday, Ericsson also announced the introduction of a new line of 5G radios for India.
The ultra-lightweight Massive MIMO 32T32R radios will be manufactured in India.
These energy-efficient 5G radios come with coverage-enhancing features such as Uplink Booster that make them relevant for a densely populated country like India.