New research from telecoms software vendor Amdocs found 35% of UK plan to buy a 5G phone this year, but that most of them don’t really know why it’s better than 4G.

Well, it’s one louder isn’t it? The Amdocs research seemed to have been conducted to see if Brits were getting the message on 5G and the answer seems to be ‘to some extent, yes’. The fact that over a third of us are prepared to shell out for a 5G upgrade in only its first full year of availability show that we’re at least tempted to find out what all the fuss is about.

Apparently only 5% of Brits haven’t heard of 5G (presumably infants and the highly elderly), but 55% of reckon we know what it is, but can’t put our finger on why we should care. That leaves 40% of people who are able to regurgitate 5G buzzwords such as ‘low-latency’ on demand. Having said that most respondents still said it’s all about the internet, which implies it’s all about speed to the average punter.

“Consumers’ first experience of 5G will be a faster, more responsive and consistent experience for the types of things we do today – internet access, streaming video, accessing and storing photos in the cloud,” said Angela Logothetis, CTO, Open Networks at Amdocs. “We will see service providers start to bundle and monetise these popular applications and content as part of 5G. The more futuristic services – driverless cars, VR and AR technology – will take time – although we are seeing interest in early capabilities – like augmented reality street maps.

“Our experience in Asia and North America shows that 5G plans for minutes, text and data are priced competitively with 4G plans as service providers race to grow their 5G subscriber base. Over time, service providers will look to differentiate their 5G services. Service providers won’t just want to be the fastest network – they will want to be the fastest network for streaming video, or the most responsive network for multiplayer gaming.

“Being able to deliver and monetise this quality of service will be key to revenue growth. Amdocs’ research indicates that half of UK consumers would consider bundling 5G with their home internet packages, and 25 per cent with OTT video services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.”

The fact still remains that most people who buy a 5G phone this year will probably be disappointed by how infrequently the magic number pops up at the top of their display and how little difference it makes to their experience on the rare occasions it does. Having said that, if we assume that around half the country are due a handset upgrade this year anyway, they might as well get a future-proofed one.


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