High cost of 5G service the main deterrent for consumers: poll

08/20/2020 09:40 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 20 (CNA) The majority of Taiwan consumers are not inclined to switch to 5G mobile phone service within the next six months, as most of them are waiting for the cost to drop, according to an online poll released on Thursday.

With the launch of 5G services by Taiwan's three major telecom companies over the past two months, the average cost of a monthly data plan is NT$1,399 (US$47.55), almost twice as much as the average NT$703 most consumers are prepared to pay, the poll found.

The survey, conducted by 1111 Job Bank, found that 52.8 percent of consumers are not considering applying for 5G service in the near future, with 31 percent of them listing cost as the main deterrent.

People are also not motivated to switch to 5G services because they think 4G is adequate for their personal use (24.9 percent), they are concerned that 5G base stations may not have wide enough coverage (21.0 percent), and the devices they have do not support 5G (18.8 percent), according to the poll.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of those who want to obtain 5G services will use it for smart home technology, 61.7 percent for watching streamed videos, and 53.0 percent for work, the survey showed.

"While 4G brought significant changes for consumers, we are all talking about industrial applications for 5G, especially in the manufacturing sector," said Eric Li (李明憲), a vice president at Far EasTone Telecommunications Co. (FET).

According to Li, nearly 100 companies, over half of them in the manufacturing sector, are collaborating with FET on 5G, as it can be used to improve the manufacturing process, enhance supply chain management, and help create a safer work place.

Vivi Hwang (黃若薇), spokesperson for 1111 Job Bank, said 5G is poised to become a game changer in people's lives.

"The 5G technology's characteristics of wider bandwidth, 1-millisecond latency, and ability to accommodate more devices per unit area than 4G will change how people work and live," she said.

She said that since the beginning of July, the number of 5G-related job vacancies on the 1111 site have grown by about 20 percent, while searches for "5G" on the site have increased by 30 percent.

The survey, conducted Aug. 1-14 among people in Taiwan, collected 1,568 valid responses and had a margin of error of 2.48 percentage points and a confidence level of 95 percent.

(By intern Tzeng Yi-ning)

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