Opensignal flags 5G branding challenge
VP of Analysis Opensignal
INTERVIEW: Opensignal VP of analysis Ian Fogg (pictured) argued 5G presents a unique marketing challenge for operators, noting it is unlike previous iterations of mobile technology because the consumer experience can vary widely depending on the spectrum used. He explained this makes it difficult for operators to communicate the benefits to consumers because “5G isn’t really one thing”.
“I think it’s a very challenging thing to explain that you might have the 5G logo in your status bar but the experience could be very, very different depending on what kind of 5G connection your phone has got”.
He said many global markets have focused on using mid-band spectrum, delivering average speeds between 100Mb/s and 377Mb/s. However, the US has taken a different approach, with some operators employing very high-band mmWave spectrum to deliver average data rates of nearly 500Mb/s over a small area, and others using low-band spectrum which offers significantly slower speeds but much greater coverage.
Fogg noted US operators appear to have landed on a strategy of trying to “distinguish the mmWave with a different name than their lower-band 5G service” to highlight different service capabilities.
Their next hurdle will be “trying to work out what kinds of applications and services work particularly well on 5G” and can be used as an incentive for consumers to upgrade, he added.