According to the Ericsson ConsumerLab report, India will witness accelerated 5G adoption with 31 million users upgrading to 5G phones in 2023. This presents a vast opportunity for further 5G adoption in the country. The report titled “5G value: Turning performance into loyalty” explores what drives 5G network satisfaction and user retention.

According to the study, 5G users in India stand out for their high daily engagement with apps, such as streaming HD video, video calling services, mobile gaming and augmented reality. On average, they spend two hours more per week using these services compared to users in other early adopter 5G markets such as the US, UK, South Korea, China and many others.

Moreover, India’s 5G satisfaction levels and perceived 5G availability match or surpass those in early adopter markets. India boasts a remarkable 13 per cent higher share of very satisfied 5G users compared to the early adopter market average. Overall satisfaction increases by a substantial 30 per cent when transitioning from 4G to 5G, with higher download speeds playing a key role in driving this satisfaction.

The survey highlights that 5G performance in important locations significantly influences user satisfaction and switching decisions. Users experiencing connectivity issues at event venues are three times more likely to consider changing service providers in the next six months. Conversely, a positive 5G experience at key locations, such as in transit or at home, can boost satisfaction by four times.

Commenting on the findings, Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head, Ericsson Consumer Lab, “About 39 per cent of 5G consumers polled believed that increased data allowances in their 5G plans would justify premium rate charges from communications service  providers (CSPs). Interestingly, about 24 per cent of 5G consumers polled express a clear preference for differentiated quality of service (QoS) over 5G. Rather than settling for generic, best-effort 5G performance, these users are actively seeking elevated and consistent network performance, specially tailored for demanding applications and specific key locations. The research shows that one in five smartphone users are willing to pay an average premium of 14 per cent for 5G rich app bundled plans or QoS-led offerings.”

The survey also identifies several 5G use cases that resonate with Indian consumers and are willing to pay a premium for these. Some of these services include 3D/augmented reality (AR) books digital library, 5G creator package, 5G optimised mobile gaming, immersive replays, enhanced event experience etc.

Sethi added, “The findings from our global survey underscore India’s potential to lead the way in 5G adoption and usage. With a substantial portion of the population ready for 5G, the opportunities for innovation and growth in the Indian market are immense. Even as app experience is emerging as a key factor in driving satisfaction with 5G, 5G has elevated the overall network satisfaction in India by an impressive 30 per cent compared to 4G.”

Meanwhile, Nitin Bansal, head, Ericsson India, and head, Network Solutions, Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson, said, “Given the rapid 5G adoption in India, the growing data traffic and the launch of fixed wireless access (FWA) offers by service providers, we expect mmWave to be the foundation for the next wave of 5G growth the country. Ericsson’s advanced and more energy efficient portfolio being launched in India will enable the country to meet the capacity and performance requirements of the networks in India.”

The ConsumerLab Study was conducted earlier this year and represents the views of 1.5 billion consumers across 28 global markets. In India, the survey reflects the views of 50 million 5G users and 250 million consumers across tier 1-3 cities in India. Globally, 10,000 active 5G users were interviewed, encompassing 650 million 5G users worldwide.