Respondents across the two industries share great optimism but certain niche sectors are still lukewarm about 5G’s true potential.

In a recent survey of over 600 consumers and 140 marketing professionals from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines about 5G, 92% had heard about 5G, while 53% said they were ‘extremely excited’ about the technology. However, despite the awareness of 5G, Southeast Asian consumers and marketers are still not clear about the technology. Only 32% and 20% respectively indicated they were ‘at least moderately familiar’ with the benefits that 5G can bring.

What consumers want most in a 5G world

Respondents had clear expectations on what they would like to gain from the implementation of 5G. Speed is a clear winner. Faster data transfer speeds came out on top, with 78% of respondents citing it as the benefit they are most looking forward to and with good reason—with 5G, downloading a Full-HD movie (roughly around 1.5GB in size depending on the encoding parameters used) will only take four seconds.

Other benefits consumers are looking forward to include experiencing better, faster connectivity for their wearable devices (62%) and better video streaming (59%).

Interestingly, seeing the traditional network experience improve is a lower priority for consumers here, with only about a third (29%) looking forward to fewer or no dropped calls. Close to half (49%) of respondents said they were hotly anticipating consistent mobile coverage.

Video rules: When it comes to how consumers plan to use 5G’s blazingly fast speeds, video streaming came out on top. It was followed by content downloading, music streaming, gaming and watching TV rounding off the ‘top 5 activities’ that will be enhanced with 5G.

Pricing did not emerge as a major concern for consumers, with only 14% of respondents feeling that cost is a key concern. More than half (51%) said they were willing to pay more for 5G’s promised speed. On average, most reported they were willing to fork out US$10 more, indicating that consumers are open to paying for better experiences.

Improvements and opportunities ahead for advertisers with 5G

The study by Verizon Media, 5G Advertiser and Consumer Outlook Study SEA 2020, was conducted with Data Science division of Publicis Media covering countries that are targeting to launch commercially-viable 5G networks as early as this year.

Said Francis Fung, Senior Insights Manager, International Consumer Growth Marketing, Verizon Media: “The study examines how both consumers and advertisers expect 5G to transform experiences in the very near future. Excitement about 5G is spreading across the region, both among consumers and advertisers. This study shines light on what consumers are most looking forward to in a 5G world and the emerging opportunities for advertisers to leverage 5G in new and exciting ways to connect with audiences.”

The research has found that while advertisers overall are looking forward to the opportunities with 5G, their ‘level of excitement’ varied with the industry they serve. Advertisers across Electronics/Tech, Financial Services and Retail/ Ecommerce are ‘very excited’, while marketers across healthcare and travel for instance, reported being ‘moderately excited.’

Slightly Excited Moderately Excited Very Excited
FMCG Healthcare Electronics/Tech
  Pharmaceutical Financial Services
  Travel Retail/Ecommerce
  Hospitality Personal care

Most of the advertisers (9 out of 10) believe 5G will lead to significant improvements across areas like content production (88%), more immersive advertising formats (87%), better targeting with more data (85%), and enhanced video streaming experiences (85%).

Added Fung: “With significantly greater throughput and much lower latency, 5G will allow brands to power new kinds of consumer experiences. Both the volume and the quality of content consumed will increase with 5G; that includes not only video but also the more vivid immersive experiences like AR and VR. However, with only 20% of marketers already familiar with 5G, advertisers will have to work strategically with the right partners to realize the opportunities possible with the 5G revolution.”