4G, 5G - as long as we are connected, do we even care?

The Nordic countries are above the OECD average in terms of the percentage of the population with mobile broadband subscriptions and high mobile data usage, but do we understand the benefits that 5G will bring to the table?

While we all seem to want mobile data, Finland stands out when it comes to actually getting it, as Finland tops the OECD statistics for mobile data usage at over 19 GB per month in 2018, with four times the mobile data usage of Norway. This is likely due to more than half (54 %) of Finns having unlimited data.

Monthly data allowance in Nordics
What is your monthly data allowance on your smartphone?

There has been a lot of discussion around 5G and what kind of new opportunities it offers for businesses. However, we suspect that the benefits which 5G brings to the end consumers are not as clear. For one, the trend for consumers’ anticipations of 5G has actually decreased slightly between 2018 and 2019. In 2018, 15 per cent of Nordic adults owning a phone or a smartphone would have switched to a 5G network as soon as possible, whereas the comparable percentage in 2019 has dropped to 13 per cent.

The anticipation of 5G
A 5G network describes the next generation of mobile wireless communication which can provide consumers with mobile Internet speeds typically around 5 times faster than currently available on 4G/LTE. Which of the following best describes your attitude towards 5G networks?

Interestingly, Norwegian consumers use the least amount of mobile data in the Nordics, but seem to be much more interested in 5G than consumers in the other Nordic countries as almost 20 percent would switch to a 5G network as soon as it is available.

In general, there is a remarkably higher interest in 5G among Nordic consumers who own the latest smartphones, compared to the anticipation in general.

Consumers subscribe to more services that require a high quality network, such as music and video streaming services, in 2019 (video 56 percent, music 51 percent) compared to 2018 (video 49 percent, music 50 percent).

Furthermore, there has been a five-point increase in the number of Nordic consumers watching videos on their smartphones in the last year.

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