Will 5G replace traditional Wi-Fi?

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Ten post dostępny jest także w języku: polski

Globally, April marked the second anniversary of 5G. In Poland, on the other hand, the new generation of telecommunications networks was launched in May 2020, when Plus became the first operator in Poland to deliver commercial 5G. Shortly thereafter, the other three major players also expanded their offerings to include fifth-generation network access. Now Ericsson has decided to investigate how 5G affects consumer behavior.

5G connectivity

Although 5G technology is not yet widely adopted, Ericsson research shows that in a global trend, the next-generation network has begun to replace standard Wi-Fi. Of those surveyed, one in five (22%) said they had reduced their use of Wi-Fi at home as a result of 5G access, and another 10% had stopped using it altogether. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic period is a time when broadband usage is at record highs, and most users still treat 5G mobile connectivity as a backup service.

And when it comes to comparing to the previous generation of mobile internet, 5G users are spending an average of two hours more per week streaming high-definition mobile video. The use of extended-range video applications known as 360-degree video has also become popular. Another trend being seen is immersive video, which includes AR and VR. According to Ericsson, it now accounts for 20% of the total time spent by 5G consumers. All this translates into nearly 2.5 times more data transferred per month compared to 4G technology.

“It is interesting to note that although 5G-enabled virtual reality (VR) glasses kits are not yet widely available in the market and most consumers are using Wi-Fi when using them, 5G users are already spending more time on VR content compared to 4G users”. – comments Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research.

Increasing user requirements

However, 5G network alone is not enough. As many as 70% of users who have had access to it for some time are dissatisfied with the small number of innovative applications and services included with 5G plans.  The importance of solutions that could differentiate 5G usage from 4G is particularly highlighted.

The Ericsson ConsumerLab study, “Five Ways to Better 5G,” was conducted using an online interview method. It included a sample of more than 30,000 smartphone users, aged 15 to 69 from 26 countries around the world.

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