Survey says consumers willing to pay 20% more for 5G. Really?

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Ericsson, bless them, went to the trouble of interviewing 35,000 consumers about the perceived value of 5G. It turns out (which is code for ‘don’t question these results’) that consumers will pay 20% extra for 5G.

For a start 5G, real 5G, for consumers is still a long way away (exceptions apply). Telcos need to make some of the money back from enterprise and Government solutions before they even think about consumers.

For a second, consumers would pay the 20% premium for any wireless network that actually works. Most cities have atrocious connectivity, rural areas (exceptions apply) even worse. Of course people will pay for guaranteed connectivity if they have come to rely on it and cannot get it.

5G is (apparently) not just about speed anyway. It is about really low latency, enabling VR, AR and autonomous cars (laughter off).

Of course, 5G as a local high speed, low latency platform will enable radical, disruptive (damaging?) changes in many industries. It will enable dark, cold factories to operate. It will allow innovation in almost any industry you care to mention. It will be the platform for the IoT, or large parts of it.

And each industry will need to look at what it offers them and work with the telcos to support that innovation.

But to say that 20% of consumers will pay more for something that is not here yet and you can only describe as ‘faster’ is ridiculous. It is the same as asking a colleague whether their black and white chunky computer is OK. And they say ‘yes’ because they don’t know any different. Then you take them down the corridor and show them the full colour, lightning fast laptop. Then, when they go back to their computer, they say ‘I can’t work with this, I need a new computer’. ‘And no, why should I pay for it’?

And not to put too fine a point on it, we are assuming in all the hype that 5G will be with us everywhere, all at once and be super reliable.

A small business near two major trunk roads has been without internet or telephone for five (working) days now. The trouble ticket is now so inflated that, in a company of 50,000 employees, there is someone called Laura looking after the whole sorry affair.

And you think an extra G is going to make telcos suddenly become able to provide a reliable network?

If this article is ever published, 2G would be nice, the advice would be to pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

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