Further, 48% intend to upgrade to 5G ‘as soon as possible,’ Ookla reported
India recently concluded a 5G spectrum auction in which the country’s operators spent a total of total $19 billion for spectrum across 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz frequency bands.
As a result, rollout is expected to begin in the country by October this year, and according to a new Ookla survey, consumers can’t wait.
In fact, Ookla found that 89% of respondents said the “intend to upgrade” to the network. Further, of that group, 48% have plans to do so as soon as possible, even if they must switch providers, while 20% said they would wait for their service providers to upgrade to the 5G network. Only 2% of respondents indicated that they don’t intend to upgrade to 5G at all.
When asked which services they would use more if they had a better connection due to 5G, the top three use cases that emerged were video streaming (70%), mobile gaming (68%) and social messaging (63%).
Really, though, consumers want faster speeds, with 42% answering that this is the most important service provided by a provider, followed by a more reliable connection at 24%, better indoor coverage at 21% and better outdoor coverage at 10%.
While the results of the survey show serious excitement for 5G among Indian consumers, the report author and Ookla Principal Analyst Sylwia Kechiche was careful to point out that challenges remain, particularly those are affordability, coverage and consumer education.
“Our survey results also informed us that the key reason for not upgrading to 5G is the perceived cost of the 5G tariff,” stated Kechiche. “Just over a quarter of those who don’t plan to upgrade said that they think the 5G tariff cost would be too expensive. Beyond tariffs, 24% of those that don’t plan to upgrade to 5G stated lack of 5G knowledge as an issue, while 23% don’t have a 5G-capable phone.”
However, according to Kechiche, only 1.4% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the existing network performance. “While mobile users in India are among the most data-intensive users in the world, India’s 4G/LTE networks have become a bottleneck for demand,” Kechiche said. She added that 5G promises to “unlock a world of possibilities beyond just a faster network connection.”