5G in SE Asia: consumers excited for speed, marketers for innovation

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More than half (53%) of Southeast Asian consumers and marketers are “extremely excited” about 5G technology and 92% have heard about it, according to a study commissioned by Verizon Media.

However, despite such level of awareness, only 32% and of consumers and  20% of advertiser indicated they were “at least moderately familiar” with the benefits of 5G.

In conducting the study, Publicis Media’s Data Science division surveyed over 600 consumers and 140 marketing professionals from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines — countries that are targeting to launch commercially viable 5G networks as early as 2020.

Faster data transfer speeds came out as the top consumer expectation from 5G, with 78% of respondents citing it as the benefit to which they are most looking forward. With 5G, downloading a full HD movie will only take four seconds.

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

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Seeing the traditional network experience improve is a lower priority for consumers, with less than 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.

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.

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

“With significantly greater throughput and much lower latency, 5G will allow brands to power new kinds of consumer experiences,” said Francis Fung, senior insights manager for international consumer growth marketing at Verizon Media. “Both volume and 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 realise the opportunities possible with the 5G revolution,” said Fung.

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