What are SEA consumers and marketers looking for in 5G?

CPhoto by Drobot Dean

Verizon Media today shared findings from its 5G Advertiser and Consumer Outlook Study SEA 2020. The study conducted with Publicis Media’s Data Science division, surveyed over 600 consumers and 140 marketing professionals from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines – countries that are targeting to launch commercially viable 5G networks as early as 2020. 

The study examines how both consumers and advertisers expect 5G to transform experiences in the very near future. “Excitement about 5G is spreading across the region, both among consumers and advertisers. This study shines light on what consumers are most looking forward to in a 5G world and the emerging opportunities for advertisers to leverage 5G in new and exciting ways to connect with audiences,” said Francis Fung, Senior Insights Manager, International Consumer Growth Marketing, Verizon Media.

Among the respondents surveyed, 92% had heard about 5G, while 53% said they were ‘extremely excited’ about the technology. However, despite the awareness surrounding 5G, the actual benefits it will bring still remains a mystery for SEA’s consumers and marketers. Only 32% and 20% respectively indicated they were ‘at least moderately familiar’ with the benefits of the technology.

What consumers want most in a 5G world

Respondents had clear expectations on what they would like to gain from the implementation of 5G.

Speed is a clear winner: Faster data transfer speeds came out on top, with 78% of respondents citing it as the benefit they are most looking forward to and with good reason – with 5G, downloading a full HD movie will only take 4 seconds.

Other benefits consumers are looking forward to include experiencing better, faster connectivity for their wearable devices (62%) and better video streaming (59%).

Interestingly, seeing the traditional network experience improve is a lower priority for consumers here, with only about a third (29%) looking forward to fewer or no dropped calls. Close to half (49%) of respondents said they were hotly anticipating consistent mobile coverage.

Video rules: On how consumers plan to use 5G’s blazingly fast speeds, video streaming came out on top. It was followed by content downloading, music streaming, gaming and watching TV rounding off the ‘top 5 activities’ will be enhanced with 5G. 

Value in 5G: Pricing did not emerge as a major concern for consumers, with only 14% of respondents feeling that cost is a key concern. More than half (51%) said they were willing to pay more for 5G’s promised speed. On average, most reported they were willing to fork out US$10 more, indicating that consumers are open to paying for better experiences.

Improvements and opportunities ahead for advertisers with 5G

The study found that while advertisers overall are looking forward to the opportunities with 5G,  their ‘level of excitement’ varied with the industry they serve. Advertisers across Electronics/ Tech, Financial Services and Retail/ Ecommerce are ‘very excited’ about the arrival of 5G, while marketers across healthcare and travel for instance, reported being ‘moderately excited.’

Slightly Excited Moderately Excited Very Excited
FMCG Healthcare Electronics/Tech
  Pharmaceutical Financial Services
  Travel Retail/e-commerce
  Hospitality Personal care

Big advantages ahead: 9 out of 10 advertisers believe 5G will lead to significant improvements across areas like content production (88%), more immersive Ad formats (87%), better targeting with more data (85%), and enhanced video streaming experiences (85%).


The Verizon Media 5G Advertiser and Consumer Outlook Study SEA 2020 was developed based on first party research conducted over the course of the fourth quarter of 2019. As part of the study, an online survey was administered to 610 consumers and 144 marketing professionals across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Consumers surveyed were individuals between the ages of 16 and 64, with access to the interview via mobile data or home broadband, and played a part in deciding on their mobile/home broadband service provider. Respondents include 152 in Singapore, 150 in Malaysia, 157 in Indonesia and 151 in the Philippines. The marketing professionals surveyed were working in a client-facing role and were at the time of the survey, currently working on a client-based project. They possessed an average of 3 years of working experience. Respondents include 35 in Singapore, 36 in Malaysia, 35 in Indonesia, and 38 in Philippines.

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