Cloud gaming was always cited as the way to monetise 5G for the consumer and the latest survey from real time communications company Ribbon Communications supports this idea.
The survey, conducted on behalf of Ribbon by Sapio Research looked at the gaming habits of 5,000 ‘ardent’ gamers (pre COVID-19) from the US (1013) UK (1003) Japan (1001) South Korea (1000) and Germany (1002).
It showed that people who spend more than three hours a day on cloud gaming are prepared to pay more for low latency and greater speed.
Key findings include:
- 58% already pay a premium to their provider to enjoy the best gaming experience possible
- 79% would consider replacing their home broadband and mobile connectivity with 5G for a better gaming experience
- 95% would pay more for this improved experience, with 60% willing to pay 50% more (or $126 per month compared to the current monthly average of $84)
- 58% would switch connectivity provider as soon as they could if a competitor offered a high-quality gaming service with a new 5G subscription
- Based on the extrapolation of this survey data and publicly available gaming market forecasts from Newzoo, the opportunity to provide the high-performance connectivity to enable cloud games could be worth more than $150 billion to carriers deploying 5G
All of which is good news for service providers who can provide this level of performance and who want to address this market. And for those who were not intending to go down this route, there will be conversations about churn, as their existing gaming customers seem likely to switch.
Ribbon also points to additional revenues that will come from service providers partnering with games companies. StarHub in Singapore has already spotted this opportunity with a tie up with Anstream Arcade from the UK and Nokia as its network partner.
One caveat, of course, is that while customers might well want to switch to a service that provides low latency and high speed, there is the rest of the customer’s household to consider. What about the mother who wants to catch up on Facebook, the father who wants to watch the game and the annoying little sister (brothers can also be annoying) who wants to watch YouTube and chat to her friends at the same time.
More and more 5G opportunities will emerge but cloud gaming is the obvious one to be first ‘out of the box’ – but care needs to be taken to consider a holistic picture. 5G is not a ‘point’ solution but an ecosystem that must be carefully managed, otherwise providers’ customer service team is going to have a lot of people shouting at it.