A report from Ericsson ConsumerLab’s 5G: The Next Wave has identified six key trends, which shows that half of 5G consumers who already use extended-reality (XR) related services believe AR apps will move from smartphones to XR headsets within two years.

The report noted that compared to 4G users – 5G users spend an average of one hour per week more on metaverse-related services, such as gaming in virtual worlds, and augmented reality (AR).

Commenting, Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Head of Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: ”The scale of the research gives us an authentic insight into consumers’ views and attitudes to 5G. The report shows that the next wave of potential 5G users has different expectations of the technology compared to early adopters. Overall, consumers see engaging with 5G as an essential part of their future lifestyles.”

He added that it is interesting to note that 5G is emerging as an important enabler for early adopters to embrace metaverse-related services, such as socializing, playing and buying digital items in interactive 3D virtual gaming platforms. The amount of time spent on augmented reality apps by 5G users has also doubled over the past two years, compared to 4G users.

The six trends

  1. 5G adoption to be inflation resilient: At least 510 million consumers across 37 markets are likely to take up 5G in 2023.
  2. The demanding next wave of users: The next wave of 5G users has high expectations on 5G performance, especially network coverage, compared to early adopters — who care about new innovative services enabled by 5G.
  3. Perceived 5G availability is emerging as the new satisfaction benchmark among consumers. Geographical coverage, indoor/outdoor coverage and congregation hot-spot coverage are more important to building a user perception than population coverage.
  4. 5G is pushing up the usage of enhanced video and augmented reality. Over the past two years, time spent on AR apps by 5G users has doubled to two hours per week.
  5. 5G monetization models are expected to evolve: Six in 10 consumers expect 5G offerings to move beyond more data volume and speeds to on-demand tailored network capabilities for specific needs.
  6. 5G adoption is setting the path to the metaverse. 5G users on average are already spending one hour more per week on metaverse-related services than 4G users. They also expect two hours of more video content will be consumed weekly on mobile devices, 1.5 hours of which will be on AR/VR glasses by 2025.

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