Ericsson, a leading 5G network service provider in Canada, has released the Canadian results from its largest consumer study to date. It shows that four million Canadian smartphone users plan to switch to 5G service in the next 12 to 15 months. 5G networks have been available to smartphone users in Canada since 2020.
The study, titled 5G: The Next Wave, was conducted by Ericsson’s ConsumerLab. It reveals that the number of 5G users has increased sixfold over the past two years. In addition, eight out of ten current 5G users in Canada would not want to switch back to 4G. While in Canada, 5G population coverage has reached 75 per cent, only a third of 5G users feel they are connected to 5G more than 5 per cent of the time.
The study also shows that consumer awareness is low. Indeed, 15 per cent of users in Canada claim they are on 5G, but use a 4G handset, while another 18 per cent own a 5G capable device but have not upgraded to a 5G subscription.
Jasmeet Singh Sethi, head of Ericsson ConsumerLab, explains: “We’ve seen globally that the 5G user base starts to shift towards more demanding mainstream users when more than 15 per cent of smartphone users in the market have made the switch to 5G. These mainstream tech adopters are more value-conscious and have higher expectations than early adopters driven by new technology. The Canadian results and global trends identified by this report suggest we’re on our way towards the next wave of 5G. As 5G becomes the mainstream, service providers need to get ready for more customers looking to get even more out of their 5G experience.”
The study also addresses the impact of 5G on early adopter consumers, while highlighting the factors driving growth and demand. It shows that twice as many 5G users in Canada now use more than three digital services daily, and the time they spend on applications and activities related to the metaverse (augmented or virtual reality) has doubled to two hours per week or more, compared to 4G users.
According to Yasir Hussain, vice president and chief technology officer, Ericsson Canada, “Six in 10 Canadian survey respondents said they want 5G plans to offer more than just gigabytes. Consumers are looking for more tailored network capabilities like application enhanced connectivity rather than best effort 5G, which has itself improved measurably this year with the rollout of mid-band spectrum. This demonstrates the new business model opportunities the next wave of 5G presents for service providers by bundling digital services and focusing on quality of service for demanding applications like gaming and extended reality (XR).”
The Canadian sample included responses from 1,200 consumers interviewed online between April and July 2022, and is statistically representative of the views of 24 million consumers. The full survey scope is representative of the opinions of about 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, including 430 million 5G subscribers.
The full report is available on Ericsson’s website.