than 1 Mbps . Furthermore , according to Ofcom , speeds higher than 10 Mbps for download and 1 Mbps for upload is considered a “ decent ” broadband service ; using this criterion only 64 % of homes have “ decent ” service .
The extensive study involved GWS testing the speeds of home Internet connections in over 2,000 households along with conducting in-depth consumer research into how home Internet performance has impacted people over the course of the pandemic . The study primarily involves ISPs , as almost all ( 89 %) of the homes tested and surveyed use their home broadband network to connect to the Internet , as opposed to their mobile network .
The findings from the study suggest that there is a noticeable ‘ digital divide ’ in the UK , with inequalities of home Internet performance impeding some consumers ’ abilities to work and stay ‘ connected ’ during the ongoing pandemic and lockdown periods . When connected to their home Internet , 62 % of all respondents reported experiencing a range of issues from being unable to load websites , stream videos or connect to video conferences . As a result of these problems , over half ( 52 %) of the respondents claimed they felt isolated at some point during the first national lockdown .
As the country ’ s reliance on video conferencing has grown , people are most likely to worry about network performance on video or voice calls , as 34 % have had problems with video calling and conferencing over the last few months . Moreover , just over one in 10 admitted that they have had a colleague comment on their poor connection during a voice or video call ( this increases to nearly two out of 10 among the younger workers aged 18 to 24 ). But the data shows that video calling is here to stay , as the majority of the people in the UK ( 65 %) intend to continue using video calling
platforms after the technology ’ s prolific rise this year .
The study also found that while those in urban areas were more likely to feel isolated by poor home Internet connectivity , rural respondents were more likely to do something about it . 60 % of urbanites admitted they felt unable to communicate effectively with others at some points during this year , yet this was the case for only 43 % living in rural areas . In terms of addressing these issues , just over a quarter ( 27 %) of all respondents would change providers if problems persisted , increasing to 39 % for respondents living in rural areas . People are also relying increasingly on the availability of their mobile signal at home . When experiencing poor connectivity during a video call , 20 % of all consumers said that they will switch from their WiFi to their mobile network .
The study reveals that some consumers are also optimistic about the promise of 5G , as over a quarter ( 26 %) think that 5G will help fix the nation ’ s ‘ digital divide ’ in the future . This figure increased to 34 % for those living in urban areas .
“ The fact that a third of homes in the UK don ’ t have sufficient speeds to perform routine tasks is disappointing ,” commented Paul Carter , CEO , Global Wireless Solutions . “ It ’ s a real eye opener , particularly at a time when everyone is at home and relying on their networks more than ever . Like it or loathe it , life as we know it has changed and having a sufficient Internet connection is essential for being able to work and live . Without reasonable throughputs , consumers risk feeling disconnected , frustrated , and anxious .”
“ But there is hope . While it ’ s unsurprising that people who have poor Internet connections will change broadband providers when they can , we ’ re also seeing people willing to switch to mobile which most likely indicates that indoor mobile coverage is improving over previous years .
This will only be intensified
by the rollout of 5G around
the country . We have been
testing the performance of 5G
in cities across the UK and we
are already seeing promising
speeds within urban areas . As
such , 5G should be a potential
solution to the problems that
so many homes are currently
experiencing throughout the
Ericsson : More than 1bn access to 5G by YE
Ericsson projects that four
out of every ten mobile
subscriptions in 2026 will
be 5G . Current 5G uptake in
subscriptions and population
coverage confirms the
technology as deploying the
fastest of any generation of
mobile connectivity .
The November 2020 Ericsson
Mobility Report estimates that
by the end of this year , more
than 1 billion people – 15 % of
the world ’ s population – will live
in an area that has 5G coverage
rolled out . In 2026 , 60 % of the
world ’ s population will have
access to 5G coverage , with 5G
subscriptions forecast to reach
3.5 billion .
Ericsson has raised its
year-end 2020 estimate for
global 5G subscriptions to
220m , as service providers
continue to build out their
networks . The increase is
largely due to rapid uptake
in China , reaching 11 % of its
mobile subscription base . This
is driven by a national strategic
focus , intense competition
between service providers , as
well as increasingly affordable
5G smartphones from several
North America is expected
to end the year with about
4 percent of its mobile
subscriptions being 5G .
Commercialisation is now
moving at a rapid pace and by
2026 , Ericsson forecasts that
80 % of North American mobile
subscriptions will be 5G , the
highest level of any region in
the world .
Europe will end the year
with about 1 % 5G subscriptions
in the region . During the year , some countries delayed auctions of the radio spectrum needed to support 5G deployment .
“ This year has seen society take a big leap towards digitalisation ,” notes Fredrik Jejdling , executive vice president and head of networks , Ericsson . “ The pandemic has highlighted the impact connectivity has on our lives and has acted as a catalyst for rapid change , which is also clearly visible in this latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report .”
“ 5G is entering the next phase , when new devices and applications make the most out of the benefits it provides , while service providers continue to build out 5G . Mobile networks are a critical infrastructure for many aspects of everyday life and 5G will be key to future economic prosperity .”
The report also highlights why 5G success will not be limited to coverage or subscription numbers alone . Its value will also be determined by new use cases and applications , the first of which have already started to emerge .
Cloud gaming is another emerging application category . The combined capabilities provided by 5G networks and edge compute technologies will enable game streaming services on smartphones to compete with a quality of experience ( QoE ) on par with PC or console counterparts , opening up for innovative , immersive games based on mobility .
With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating digitalisation as well as increasing the importance and need for fast and reliable home broadband connectivity , the number of service providers offering fixed wireless access ( FWA ) is on the rise . Almost two-thirds of service providers now have an FWA offering . FWA connections are forecast to grow more than threefold and reach more than 180m by the end of 2026 , accounting for about a quarter of total mobile network data traffic .