5G is featuring more prominently in consumer wireless purchasing decisions. In the third edition of the Deloitte Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey,1 we found that of the 20% of survey respondents who changed their mobile provider in the past two years, 5G service ranked fourth as the reason for switching. But when looking forward to subscribers thinking about switching their providers next year, 5G service rises in importance, second only to better value for money.
The survey also revealed a slightly higher number of consumers considering switching providers in the next year. In 2022, 24% of respondents expressed a desire to change mobile providers, compared to 16% in 2021.
The adoption of 5G phones is also clearly on the rise. 5G device shipments surpassed 615 million units worldwide, more than doubling from 2020 to 2021.2 Indeed, our survey found that the percentage of consumers3 with a 5G device rose from 56% in 2021 to 68% in 2022.
Positively, consumers report that they are happy with their 5G service. More than nine in 10 respondents said 5G meets or exceeds their expectations. Moreover, one-quarter of respondents said they’re watching more streaming video thanks to 5G, and one-quarter of Gen Z respondents said they’re gaming more on their 5G phones than in the past. Consequently, the average monthly data usage per smartphone globally is expected to surpass 15 GB in 2022, up from 12 GB at the end of 2021.4
Even so, approximately two-thirds of all respondents (those with and without 5G service) said they want a better understanding of the new capabilities 5G offers. Indeed, most users are doing what they already did with 4G, just faster and with better performance. They do not yet see any new revolutionary applications enabled by the technology. Yet, two-thirds of 5G phone users said they would value premium bundles with innovative digital services and apps designed to leverage 5G service.
To this end, 45% of service providers worldwide are using the promise of rich media and cloud gaming to drive 5G subscriptions and device sales, and nearly 40% include an unlimited option at the premium end of their tiered data plans.5 Because 5G provides more bandwidth and speed to more devices, service providers can increasingly offer unlimited data plans,6 often with a subscription to a premium third-party streaming service (e.g., video, music, gaming). These unlimited premium bundles can help distinguish 5G from older 4G wireless plans.7
Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice brings together one of the world’s largest group of specialists respected for helping shape many of the world’s most recognized TMT brands—and helping those brands thrive in a digital world.