5G ready. But are customers?

With Sweden’s big telco players marketing 5G heavily, Tre commissioned a survey to get the other side of the story: what are customers expecting from it? Are they ready for it? And do they want it at all?

The survey, carried out by ‘Sifo’ with over 1,200 respondents, comes at a time when there’s a lot of noise around 5G, not all of it positive. Covered in the industry media, Tre’s technical director Per Stigenberg spoke about the survey and its findings – and one of the most revealing is that Swedes are currently not overly anxious to move up from 4G.

“There has been a lot of ‘buzz’ around 5G. But it has mostly been about exciting applications for companies and societal functions that are quite a few years ahead in time,” says Stigenberg.

“This survey confirms what we thought, that it is not now that we need to be the best, but that we have time to expand the network widely,” he says.

According to Tre, it will be autumn before Tre will be able to offer the bandwidth that is generally seen as ‘real 5g’. But it seems, from the survey, most customers don’t necessarily understand what they’d be getting; 66% of those respondents answered that they know to a ‘fairly low degree’ or ‘very low degree’ what is the difference between 4G and 5G. So, how can they want what they don’t understand?
As many as 69% answered that there’s a ‘low chance’, a ‘fairly low chance’ or ‘doubtful’ that they’d be interested in switching to 5G the next time they buy a new phone.
Despite this, Tre’s strategy is to press ahead with its planned rollout. "It chimes quite well with our forecast," says Per Stigenberg about the findings, adding  that customers will probably not actively have to choose 5G - it will come automatically.
"If you have a 5G phone today, you get 5G directly with a subscription from Tre", he says, without wanting to promise that it will remain so in the future.