89% of Indians ready to switch to 5G technology: Report
These conclusions come amidst the growing unease over the profitability in providing 5G services. Experts are critical if India possesses a retail market for a 5G network.
A recent report by Network and connectivity analysis firm Ookla says that 89% of Indians are ready to upgrade their network to 5G. It further declares that a mere 1.4% of the respondents are not aiming to shift and are satisfied with their present network.
These conclusions came amidst the growing unease over the profitability in providing 5G services. Experts are critical if India possesses a retail market for a 5G network. In a letter written to communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in June this year, Cellular Operators Association of India, which represents VI, Jio, Airtel, said that the demand for 5G network is more in the enterprise sector as the retail sector demand of voice and data is sufficiently met by 4G networks.`
This Ookla’s Consumer Survey published on Monday has 2,000 smartphone users aged 18 and above across urban and rural areas of India.
What does the report say?
The survey states that 48% of the respondents will shift to 5G as soon as it is accessible to them. Even if it involves changing the provider, they won’t shy off.
The wait for these consumers may end soon, as MoS Telecom was quoted on Monday that the high-speed 5G services are expected to be rolled out in about a month.
While 14% of the surveyed persons will delay for their 5G capable phone, although almost half of respondents have a 5G-ready handset, 6% are expected to be influenced by others after seeing them adopt the 5G network. As the quarterly plan being one of the most picked plans by the users, 7% will wait for their ongoing plan to end.
What is the need to upgrade to 5g?
Although 5G offers a plethora of new opportunities, 74% of the respondents are looking forward to enhanced video streaming quality once they switch to 5G. The survey also points out that there will be an increase in consumption of online games, social messaging as people have responded to use these services more if they have better coverage, reliability, and speed of the Internet.
The survey shows that 42% of the respondents believe that speed can be improved from what is provided currently. This demand of consumers will certainly be fulfilled, as the survey reads out, “The good news is that the operators’ spectrum holdings in the C-band will help them do just that. Both Airtel and Jio splurged on C-band spectrum at auction, acquiring spectrum in all of the 22 telecom circles, while Vodafone acquired spectrum only in its priority circles.”
24% of the respondents believe that the existing network should be more reliable. With work from home being the new normal, users want better indoor connectivity, and the survey too points in that direction. It shows that 21% of respondents affirmed the need for better coverage at home or market.
Reasons for not upgrading to the 5G network?
The primary reason the survey chalks out for not upgrading to 5G network is the anticipated tariff cost of it. Government, however, is saying that the prices will be reasonable. Minister Vaishnaw underscored it and said that the BSNL will act as a market balancer.
Other impediments for the respondents are, unavailability of 5G enabled phones and lack of knowledge for 5G technology.
Though India is lagging other countries in 5G implementation, as around 70 countries already have 5G networks as of June 2022, the survey says that the delay of introduction of 5G services is beneficial. There is a ‘decrease in the cost of 5G hardware as the technology and vendor ecosystem continues to mature’. It adds that since the technology was launched, there has been a fall in the prices of 5G smartphones.