Canadian Telcos Need to Educate Consumers Better on 5G: Study

A new ConsumerLab insight report from Ericsson, one of the leading providers of 5G network equipment in North America, has shared a study regarding the roll-out of 5G in Canada and the readiness of Canadian smartphone users for the next-generation cellular network technology.

The report concludes that while 5G is already rolling out in the country and telecom operators are investing billions in 5G spectrum licenses, the technology faces a number of challenges to consumer adoption across Canada and still has a ways to go.

“Any new technology faces issues of understanding and adoption,” says the report, adding that Canadian operators aren’t doing enough to educate consumers about 5G, and misconceptions surrounding the technology, how it works, and its advantages over 4G are prevalent.

In addition, Canadian telecoms also aren’t adequately differentiating 5G subscriptions from 4G, leading to confusion among their users.

“20 percent of Canadians who own a 5G phone are not on a 5G network,” a spokesperson for Ericsson said in an email to iPhone in Canada. In addition, “15% of Canadian smartphone users claim they are on 5G, but don’t have a 5G compatible phone.”

Ericsson says awareness programs from operators regarding 5G and its value, as well as the capabilities and benefits of 5G-enabled smartphones, are gravely needed and will boost consumer adoption significantly.

There also isn’t enough information being provided to consumers on the availability of 5G coverage across the country. “Half of 4G users think 5G is rarely available in Canada,” said Ericsson’s report.

PCMag‘s recent ‘Fastest Mobile Networks Canada’ competition found that 5G in Canada is actually significantly faster than in the U.S., but it appears there’s still a lot of work for providers and consumers to do on adoption.

Ever-increasing prices of wireless service in Canada aren’t helping with the issue either, and analysts predict even more price hikes in the future considering the telecom industry’s steep investments in 5G network infrastructure and spectrum licenses.