2019 saw 5G services launched by Vodafone and Spark but no announcement from 2degrees. Vodafone switched on 5G services in four cities in December 2019, Spark launched 5G wireless broadband services in five towns in South Island in November.
Whilst Venture’s 5G NZ consumer surveys clearly showed a willingness to move to 5G, actual uptake will still be constrained in 2020 due to coverage limitations and Apple’s delay in launching a 5G iPhone. However, our survey results clearly show that consumers are willing to shift and (in some cases) pay more to gain an improved mobile experience – hence we expect there will be benefits for any MNO which takes a leadership position in 5G rollout.
Whilst Venture’s consumer survey also indicated that video will be a strong consumer use case for 5G, we expect that MNO product launches which take advantage of 5G’s network slicing capabilities are still some way off.
The radio spectrum allocation for the 3.5 GHz band for 5G services will likely be held in early 2020. Currently, Vodafone and Spark hold 56 MHz and 14 MHz respectively in this band. The spectrum auction plan for the 24+ GHz band for mmWave technologies is not clear yet and is not expected before 2022.
Health issues related to 5G are still a matter of concern for general public. The telcos are campaigning to persuade the general public on the safety of 5G. The NZ ministry of health released a factsheet on 5G suggesting that there is no additional harm posed by 5G as compared to the other radio technologies.
Willingness to move to 5G mobile and fixed wireless services
Key 5G developments in 2019
Radio spectrum sharing for 5G
List of charts/tables
Figure 1. NZ Survey – Consumer Willingness to Move to 5G