According to Ericsson ConsumerLab’s new 5G: The Next Wave report, 5G adoption is paving the way for the metaverse in the future. According to the report, consumer 5G adoption will be inflation-resistant, with 32% of users in Oman planning to upgrade to a 5G subscription in the next 12 months. Despite rising costs, approximately 9 out of 10 existing 5G users in Oman say they are unwilling to return to 4G. As Oman consumers’ desire to upgrade to 5G remains strong, service providers must do more to generate interest in 5G.
The second consumer trend advocates for incentivizing 5G adoption by offering innovative services to early adopters. Oman’s 5G adoption is currently driven by tech early adopters, with only 8% on 5G. The next wave of users emerges when 5G penetration reaches about 15%. These are early adopters of mainstream technology who are less forgiving, value-conscious, and demanding. According to the findings, one in every four 5G potential users sees faster speeds as the most important reason for signing up for 5G, and four times as many 5G early adopters as potential subscribers see innovative applications and services as the most important reason for signing up.
The third trend emphasizes the disconnect between 5G population coverage and consumer perceptions of 5G availability. While Oman has 50% 5G population coverage, only 32% of 5G users believe they are connected to 5G more than 50% of the time. 77% of those with high perceived 5G availability are satisfied with 5G.
Abdullah Al-Balushi, Country Manager of Ericsson Oman says: “This is our biggest 5G study to date representing 1.7 billion consumers globally and three million consumers in Oman including 100 thousand 5G users. Through our research, we have highlighted six key trends powering the next wave of 5G in Oman and implications for service providers to unlock the true potential of this market. 5G will drive enormous opportunities for communication service proviers in consumer business over the decade, and service providers that quickly and proactively evolve their consumer propositions are likely to be bigger winners.”
The report’s fourth trend predicts that 5G will increase the use of cloud gaming and AR/VR. Over the last two years, 5G users have increased their service usage. There are three times as many 5G users in 2022 as there were in 2020, and they typically engage with more than three services. With 5G increasing the use of cloud gaming and augmented reality, faster uplink throughput will be critical to the overall immersive user experience.
According to the report, 5G monetization models will evolve as consumers demand tailored network capabilities for specific needs in 5G plans. Furthermore, 93% of 5G early adopters in Oman consider innovative 5G experiences to be an important inclusion in their mobile broadband plans.
Finally, the report predicts that 5G adoption is setting the path to metaverse. Usage of early metaverse apps/services is growing along with 5G uptake with 5G early adopters on average spending 3.5 hours more per week in metaverse-related services than 4G users. In Oman, 1.5 times more 5G early adopters engage in metaverse activities on a weekly basis than 4G users and 5 in 10 of 4G users say they will start or increase using AR applications in real-world once sign up for 5G.
Further, 5G early adopters with current experience on XR will set the pace for metaverse adoption. The report reveals that 1.6 times more 5G early adopters than 4G users believe AR apps will move from smartphones to headsets within 2 years and 92% of existing iPhone users on 5G network are interested in purchasing a lightweight mixed reality headset. Next-gen connectivity will be important to the metaverse, there are other aspects of the metaverse ecosystem that can be explored or participated in by mobile service providers.
The new 5G: The Next Wave report also highlights implications to mobile service providers including showcasing a differentiated experience on rich media and apps such as gaming, enhanced video and XR.