5G is already paving the way to the metaverse

Leading the way to the metaverse, 30% of French users say they will start or increase the use of augmented reality applications in the real world after subscribing to 5G.

Ericsson’s ConsumerLabs “5G: The Next Wave” report, just released, is the largest consumer survey of 5G to date. More than 49,000 consumers in 37 countries were interviewed for this study. This is the largest global 5G survey conducted in the industry to date and the largest consumer survey conducted by Ericsson on any topic. The scope of the survey is representative of the opinions of approximately 1.7 billion consumers worldwide, including 430 million 5G subscribers.

Nationally, it represents 2 million French 5G users. As 5G adoption in many parts of the world shifts from early adoption to mass adoption, this major global survey of its kind underscores consumers’ growing commitment to 5G and their expectations for future use cases.

Crossing Ericsson’s tracking data covering 5G launches since 2019 and the new consumer survey, Ericsson’s ConsumerLab identified six key trends influencing the next wave of 5G adoption: 5G. The report covers behavioral changes triggered by the digital service package for 5G offerings from communications service providers – including increased use of enhanced video and augmented reality applications. It also discusses the speed of 5G adoption by the general public, consumer satisfaction and the changes associated with 5G in the use of smartphones – and their impact on network traffic.

6 key trends

Interestingly, 5G is emerging as an important means for early adopters to adopt metaverse-related services such as socializing, gaming, and purchasing digital items in online interactive virtual gaming platforms. 3D. Time spent on augmented reality apps by 5G users has also doubled over the past two years.

  • The introduction of 5G will be inflation-proof: 16% of French users still intend to switch to 5G within the next 12 months.
  • A next wave of demanding users: Satisfy both the early adopters of 5G and those in the next wave by providing more coverage and innovative services to drive 5G adoption.
  • The perceived availability of 5G is emerging as the new criterion for consumer satisfaction. While France boasts 5G coverage of 81% of the population, only 27% of 5G users feel they are connected to 5G more than 50% of the time.
  • 5G increases the use of enhanced video and online gaming (cloud gaming). There are 1.5 times more 5G users in France who use more than three services compared to 4G users.
  • 5G monetization models should evolve: 60% of mobile users in France want to find customized capacity in 5G offers that meet specific needs.
  • The introduction of 5G paves the way for the metaverse. In France, 30% of 4G users say they will start or increase the use of augmented reality applications in the real world after subscribing to 5G.


5G users spend an average of 1 hour more per week in metaverse-related services than 4G users.

These virtual worlds exist in online and mobile games such as Roblox, Fortnite or AR games such as those from Niantic, social virtual reality platforms or platforms that allow users to create experiences, socialize, sell/buy or have fun in 3D -environments like Zepeto. or SK Telecom’s Ifland. Technologies such as VR, AR, AI, 5G, Blockchain, NFT and many more are all located in the metaverse world and represent a convergence and scaling of these different products, services and visions into one or more interoperable online worlds.

Today, 5G already offers features such as higher speeds, reliability and low latency to enable users to experience XR and other activities, which may be further enhanced in the future. 5G users who have some experience with XR today are already very positive about the future and believe that progress will come much faster than users who are less experienced with these new technologies.

Consumers expect 5G to continue to push the use of augmented video (AR/VR) beyond the smartphone

According to Gartner, by 2026 a quarter of people worldwide will spend at least an hour in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social interaction and/or entertainment. Our research reveals that this trend is visible even this year, with 5G users spending an average of one hour more per week in metaverse-related services than 4G users, such as shopping in virtual worlds, attending virtual concerts or events, playing online or use augmented reality. In addition, 5G will enable increased use of immersive services. A total of 41% of 4G users considering signing up for 5G say they will start using or increase their use of real-world AR apps when signing up.

5G users with XR experience will be early adopters of future new devices as they are much more positive about the future of mixed reality glasses and the new devices that will be available. Half of 5G users who already use XR-related services weekly believe that AR apps will move from smartphones to XR headsets within two years, while only a third of 4G users believe so.

Building fully interactive 3D metaverses with a large number of concurrent users, filled with rich media from immersive video and audio, relies on heavy computing, real-time rendering in the cloud closer to users, advanced spatial mapping to render digital objects in the physical world, and lag-free connections to XR headsets or smartphones. With significantly faster top-up and download speeds than 4G, combined with limited latency, 5G is much better at handling these massive demands. Growing access to 5G will support the continued evolution of the metaverse by providing the speed and power that enables digital worlds to function at scale.

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