According to a recent Ericsson ConsumerLab report titled 5G: The Next Wave, Malaysia’s 5G readiness is high and it expects 4 million users to sign up for 5G services in 2023. The study revealed that 43% of users in the country want to sign up for 5G next year and 25% already have a 5G-ready device.
Ericsson added that the findings show a strong inclination towards 5G adoption and the promise for new innovative applications and services is a key factor in the 5G adoption rate. While one in every five early adopters expect innovative applications, twice as many 5G potential users are looking for strong network coverage.
Ericsson said 87% of 5G users in Malaysia consider innovative 5G experiences to be an important inclusion on their mobile broadband plans. Therefore, telcos would need to reflect consumer demands from 5G offering and move from best effort to improved quality of experience and enhanced content experiences.
The Next Wave Report by Ericsson has highlighted several interesting trends driving 5G. It believes 5G adoption will be inflation resilient with at least 510 million consumers across 37 markets to jump on the 5G bandwagon in 2023. The next generation of 5G consumers will have high expectations of 5G performance especially network coverage compared to early adopters who are looking forward to new innovative 5G services.
Besides high-speed downloads, the perceived 5G availability is expected to be a new satisfaction benchmark among consumers. Users would prioritise geographical coverage, indoor/outdoor coverage and congregation hotspot coverage rather than just population coverage. 5G is also expected to increase the usage of enhanced video and augmented reality. In the past two years, they found that time spent on AR apps by 5G users has doubled to two hours per week.
Mass 5G adoption depends on the availability of 5G from the big four telcos
Malaysia is currently deploying 5G through Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), a state-owned single wholesale network. At the moment, Yes 5G remains the first and only telco to offer commercial 5G services. Ericsson is the sole telecommunications vendor appointed by DNB for 5G deployment.
Following the signing of conditional share subscription agreements by four telcos, DNB expects Celcom, Digi and TM to offer commercial 5G services starting this month but it all depends on the execution of the access agreements. According to DNB, all six telcos which include Maxis and U Mobile are given until the end of October to sign the 5G access agreements which will enable them to offer 5G to consumers.
Despite Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul’s claim that all six telcos have signed their access agreements, none of the publicly listed telcos or DNB has made any announcement about the execution of the 5G access agreement.
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- Malaysian telcos have until the end of October to sign 5G access agreements with DNB
- Did the govt allocate RM1.3 billion from Budget 2023 to roll out 5G? Here’s DNB’s response