MATRIXX Software has released the results of a consumer and operator research study. The findings reveal that the benefits of 5G are not widely understood by consumers and that communication service providers (CSPs) will need to solve existing pain-points and entice customers with new experiences to stimulate upgrades to 5G.
The 32-page study, 5G Positioning and Pricing Strategies: Driving to 5G Success, conducted by Strategy Analytics, calls for new approaches in positioning, packaging and pricing that will be critical to a CSP’s success in building competitive positions and driving consumer uptake and monetization. Nearly all consumers involved in the study expressed interest and excitement for the new value propositions that a 5G network will make possible.
“The transition to 5G is a quantum leap in network capabilities, so it also requires a quantum leap in commercial thinking,” said MATRIXX Software CEO Glo Gordon. “For too long, the network has been a commodity, as consumers are satisfied with 4G. To justify the mass migration to 5G, operators can drive value by offering compelling lifestyle and business services made possible because of the 5G network, rather than hyper-focusing on the network itself.”
For CSPs to drive early and significant 5G adoption, the study shows they can address more specific customer interests and create “wow” factors. This will stimulate both adoption and spend as part of a successful monetization strategy, positioning 5G as more than just enhanced speeds, which is critical.
“Digital engagement is essential for 5G as CSPs see a greater role for real-time, self-care apps to improve customer experience and drive discovery of new value-added services,” said Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director of service provider strategies, Strategy Analytics. “Operators must also see enterprise services as a significant area for disruption and enhancement, with 5G playing a key role in new business models.”
To date, 5G marketing messages have predominantly focused on delivering data faster, but consumers expressed greater confidence in the current status quo and a reticence to upgrade to 5G without a proven value-add. In addition, focus group respondents made it clear they want more than marketing messages – CSPs must deliver true value. “Mobile companies always say this will be the greatest thing ever and it will be lightning speed, but it’s only like that for the first people to get it. As soon as everyone has upgraded, it will be back to the same as it is now,” said one respondent.
According to consumers who participated in the study, operators should expand their offerings with a wide variety of value-added experiences and address current 4G drawbacks. Specifically, the research found that consumers are most excited about several applications they believe could deliver the “wow” factor they are looking for:
- Immersive experiences such as holographic conversations and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) field training;
- High accuracy, location-based applications;
- Use cases that improve safety or address current pain-points, such as the ability to get a connection in congested areas or in fast-moving vehicles.