The Public Sentiment towards 5G in Greece
Our research reveals that the level of awareness on 5G is extremely high (92%) among Greek consumers. It is also worth mentioning that 52% agree on the importance of Greece being among the 5G adoption leaders in South East Europe. Consumers are showing interest for a variety of 5G-enabled applications and services, with coverage to rural areas, real-time language translations, remote healthcare, Augmented Reality (AR) in education, seamless 4K or 8K video streaming and Smart Cities to be on the top of this list.
Security is arisen as an important factor. Moreover, 1-10 Gbps internet speeds and combined mobile home broadband bill at a lower bundled price are the two primary motivators for consumers to switch to 5G. Also, although high monthly cost is one of the pain points for consumers, 43% of them are willing to pay a premium for 5G services for an improved communication experience. Finally, high monthly fees, acquisition cost of smartphones and health risks due to electromagnetic exposure are considered the main barriers towards 5G adoption.
Telco’s 5G perception & readiness in Greece
We analysed Greek Telcos’ perception & readiness on 5G through an online survey answered by the 4 main local operators followed by enlightening interviews with C-level executives. Our study confirms a high degree of convergence at telco’s expectations and plans regarding 5G deployment and strategy. All telco players agree that eMBB will be among the first commercially available 5G services. An additional interesting finding is that all of them are also seriously considering a collaboration model in the deployment of network infrastructure. The simplification of the regulatory framework for the licensing of new base stations and the affordable upfront investment cost for the spectrum auction, network updates and deployment are recognized by all operators as the most important challenges to be taken into consideration. Moreover, 3 out of 4 telcos consider security as the biggest technical challenge of 5G launch. Discussing on the main drivers for 5G deployment, all Greek CSPs indicated that the enhanced customer experience is the top reason for 5G roll-out, while capacity expansion and FWA deployment are following.
All CSPs will look at 5G for new business-to-business (B2B) growth opportunities, which falls in line with their expectations for network slicing. Local operators understand that 5G applications and use cases need to be better identified, therefore targeting specific industries should be a crucial aspect of their strategy. The study shows that a variety of different industries will be targeted by CSPs for new revenue opportunities (e.g. tourism, industrial manufacturing, comms & media). All telco players agree that ultra-low latency will be the main advantage that 5G will offer to their leading target industries, while immersive entertainment (AR/VR) and edge computing are expected to be the top 5G capabilities that their leading target industries will use.
In terms of monetization, all CSPs estimate that new revenue opportunities will be presented not only by creating and delivering new services, but also by partnering with new business models on applications, while 75% are expecting guaranteed SLAs to be the main business model targeting 5G monetization for B2B. Regarding the willingness of their leading target industries to pay, only half of the telcos predict that those industries will finally pay more for 5G services.
All operators also think that consumers for 5G services will pay less than 10% as a premium above the existing fixed/mobile service costs; however, they also believe that 5G is not an immediate need for their end customers, therefore CSPs are expecting that consumers will hold back switching to 5G until receiving feedback by early adopters. Last but not least, CSPs consider that the government should launch campaigns to address demand and public concerns with respect to 5G health impacts in order to accelerate the 5G penetration and adoption among Greek consumers.
Industry sectors’ 5G perception & awareness in Greece
We conducted an online survey that was answered by 245 companies within 13 different industries (>30% of total GVA - 275.000 employees). The level of awareness among Greek organizations, regarding 5G features, is remarkably high. At the same time, companies acknowledge that the technology has important competitive characteristics. Nevertheless, the study also revealed some uncertainty about the 5G technology, given the fact that many companies are questioning the industry predictions about the dramatically improved speeds of 5G networks. Furthermore, most of them, highlighted that they need help to imagine the future possibilities and use cases of 5G.
In terms of time expectations, Greek organizations recognize that 5G-enabled applications will significantly transform the way we live and tackle existing problems within the next 5 years (by 2025). The surveyed companies also recognize that the adoption of modern technologies, such as IoT, AI and Robotics will affect most businesses soon. However, despite its benefits, half of the surveyed companies estimate that the upfront investment cost will be the main barrier towards 5G adoption. Having said that, businesses will need to find ways to ensure they’re getting a return on investment (ROI). Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that using 5G to innovate can be seen also as an important challenge as some of them state that they don’t have a clear understanding of how they should use it. Finally, in terms of barriers, some companies (11%) underline security concerns as a significant barrier that may prevent or delay 5G adoption.
None of these challenges are impossible to overcome particularly with the power of ecosystem play and the support of the right partners and expert advisors. Many companies in the survey highlighted the pivotal role of ecosystem - 57% are considering that the collaboration within their industry sector to create a 5G ecosystem will be beneficial for all participants. For other companies, moving forward with 5G means seeking external support. 54% of companies said that they are going to partner with System Integrator companies to acquire 5G services and 15% will turn to Consulting companies for 5G services. For service providers such as telcos, 30% of businesses are likely to work with them to develop new capabilities. From our perspective, with their proven history of providing secure connectivity across diverse locations, the advent of 5G offers telcos a clear opportunity to pivot from ‘only connectivity’ operators to facilitators of 5G ecosystems, like IoT.