Consumers are Skeptical About the 5G Future: GSMA Intelligence

Consumers are Skeptical About the 5G Future: GSMA Intelligence

The 5G future is on the way. We just don’t know what it will look like, or how much consumers will be willing to pay for a high speed premium.

That’s the takeaway from two new Consumer Survey reports published by GSMA Intelligence during CES 2019. Together, The Future of Devices and 5G’s Great Expectations takes a look at consumer opinions about 5G technology and the shifting marketplace for connected devices.

“Device vendors and operators are looking to 5G to unlock a new chapter in the smartphone growth story – even though our research suggests there is still work to do to convince consumers of the benefits of the move to 5G,” said Peter Jarich, the Head of GSMA Intelligence.

The trouble is that while most consumers (54 percent) believe 5G networks will be faster, only a small fraction (20 percent) are expecting it to launch a new wave of devices. Nearly everyone in the developed world already has a smartphone (90 percent, according to GSMA Intelligence), so persuading them to buy something new is going to be much more of a challenge.

However, the two reports are bullish on smart speakers, noting that ownership rates for devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa have nearly doubled (from nine to 16 percent of households) in the US in the past year. That indicates that people could be willing to change their habits as 5G technology continues to improve.