5G in India: 89 per cent of consumers intend to upgrade, shows Ookla survey

With Airtel expected to start 5G operations later this month, the next generation of mobile networks could soon be available in India. And a majority of users are keen to upgrade, according to a new consumer survey shared by Ookla, best known for its Speedtest app. According to the company’s latest survey, 89 per cent of Indian consumers intend to upgrade to 5G.

But affordability, coverage, and consumer education for 5G are some of the challenges that the industry will have to overcome. It should be noted that Vodafone-Idea has already indicated that 5G networks could come with a more premium price.

Ookla’s survey shows that among the 89 per cent who wish to upgrade, around 48 per cent are keen to upgrade to 5G as soon as possible, even if it calls for switching service providers. Around 20 per cent of the respondents said they would wait for their service providers to upgrade to the 5G network. Another 14 per cent of respondents intend to avail of the services after upgrading to a 5G enabled handset. Around 7 per cent would wait for their current contract period to end. Only 2 per cent of those surveyed stated that they don’t intend to upgrade to 5G.

“While mobile users in India are among the most data-intensive users in the world, India’s 4G/LTE networks have become a bottleneck for demand. Only 1.4% of respondents stated that they are satisfied with the existing network performance and are not planning to upgrade to 5G. The promise of 5G is that it will unlock a world of possibilities beyond just a faster network connection,” Sylwia Kechiche, Principal Analyst, Enterprise at Ookla said on the survey findings in a press statement.

The survey also showed what Indian consumers expect from 5G. For one, users are hoping that video streaming and gaming will improve once the 5G rollout begins. The survey showed that 70 per cent of respondents would increase their use of video streaming, while 68 per cent stated they would boost their mobile gaming.

More importantly, consumers want faster speeds which is why many are keen to switch to 5G and the survey reflects this as well. Around 42 per cent of respondents believe that faster speeds would most improve the service currently being provided to them. Around 24 per cent of respondents desire a more reliable connection, while 21 per cent want better indoor coverage.

Ookla’s survey results also revealed that the key reason for not upgrading to 5G is the perceived cost of the 5G tariff. Many of those surveyed and who did not wish to upgrade said the 5G tariff cost would be too expensive, followed by 24 per cent stating lack of 5G knowledge as an issue. Around 23 per cent said they do not have a 5G capable phone.

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