Ookla, a global leader in network intelligence and connectivity insights, has just released a report on consumer survey for India related to 5G. The 5G spectrum auctions are completed, and it is time for the telecom operators to launch 5G networks in the country. From the survey, Ookla found that 89% of Indian consumers want to upgrade to 5G network services. The consumer survey was done for users aged 18 and above across the urban as well as rural parts of the country. Over 89% of the respondents showed interest in upgrading to 5G.
Among these, 48% of respondents plan to upgrade to 5G as soon as it is available in their area, even if it calls for switching service providers. 20% of the respondents would wait for their service providers to upgrade to the 5G network. 14% of respondents intend to avail of the services after upgrading to a 5G enabled handset, and 7% would wait for their current contract period to end.
Commenting on the survey findings, Sylwia Kechiche, Principal Analyst, Enterprise at Ookla, said, 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. Only 1.4% of respondents stated that they are satisfied with the existing network performance and are not planning to upgrade to 5G. The promise of 5G is that it will unlock a world of possibilities beyond just a faster network connection.”
Findings that Emerged from Ookla's Survey
The first finding is that 70% of the respondents said that if mobile internet connections were good, they would increase their video streaming consumption. In addition, 68% of respondents said they would boost their mobile gaming. Operators acquired a total of 44,960 MHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz spectrum band (mmWave), which due to its high throughput, is particularly useful for streaming and gaming. It will also lend additional capacity in dense areas such as stadiums.
The second thing that the survey found was that 42% of respondents believe that faster speeds is the solution to improving the customer experience. Since telcos have spectrum in C-band and mmWave band, they can definitely deliver faster speeds. In addition to faster speeds, 24% of respondents desire a more reliable connection, while 21% want better indoor coverage. However, only 1 in 10 respondents pointed to better outdoor coverage as a factor that would be most beneficial.
Indians are very excited about the arrival of 5G. Mainly because they couldn't get the high-speed mobile internet experience with 4G because of several factors. Consumers are ready to leave their current choice of operators if they get 5G from another operator first. Both Airtel and Jio are targeting to launch 5G services in August 2022 itself.
The main issue right now is the cost of 5G smartphones. There's also the education factor and the uncertainties around 5G that people would first want to know about before deciding to get 5G network services.