Determinants of the adoption of 5G technology: Understanding the attitude of 5G pessimists

Korbuly, Kamilla (2020) Determinants of the adoption of 5G technology: Understanding the attitude of 5G pessimists. MA/MSc thesis, BCE Gazdálkodástudományi Kar, Vezetéstudományi Intézet.

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Technological evolution has a major impact on both the economy and society. Technologies can transform the economy by creating new industries while ruining others, and reorganize our everyday life by changing the way of almost everything we do. The telecommunication industry is especially exposed to technological development, as applying the latest technology is inevitable to provide high-quality service. However, the emergence of a new technology is not sufficient by itself to replace its predecessor, it depends on the adoption, whether the technology will achieve success or disappear. In my thesis, I am investigating the consumer adoption of 5G technology, which not only has the potential to revolutionize almost all industries from manufacturing through agriculture to healthcare but has become one of the biggest buzzwords of 2019 as well. Besides its enormous economic significance, vandal attack and demonstrations against the launch also blew up the press. The violence against 5G stems from conspiracy theories, linking the coronavirus pandemic to the technology, and arguing that the electromagnetic radiation of 5G threatens human health. To investigate this exceptional case of technology adoption I adapted the most distinguished models of the literature (such as the Technology Acceptance Model, the Innovation Diffusion Theory, and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology) and combined them with telecommunication-specific models as well, taking into consideration the specificities of 5G technology. Based on the literature, the current market trends, and the insights I acquired through expert interviews, I hypothesized that subscription intention to a 5G data plan is driven by the availability and the felt need of 5G based services, which is influenced by emotion, perceived usefulness, enjoyment, perceived risk, image, trialability, communication and social impact, being well-informed, satisfaction with the current service, personal innovativeness and online entertainment habits. I conducted an online survey to collect empirical data and received 504 valid responses. Due to the unique characteristics of the gathered dataset, I tested the hypotheses on the whole dataset, to examine the adoption of 5G technology in general, and conducted an analysis on a special subsample as well, to further investigate the attitude of those people, who are pessimistic about the technology. The results confirmed that emotion, perceived usefulness, enjoyment, perceived risk, image, trialability, communication and social impact, being well-informed, personal innovativeness and online entertainment habits influence the felt need of 5G, which determine the intention to adopt the technology, however, I did not found evidence of the significant influence of availability and satisfaction with the current mobile internet service on the adoption of the technology. These findings indicate, that telecommunication service providers can considerably promote the adoption, as they have the opportunity to influence its antecedents. The high intercorrelation among the determining factors of adoption emphasizes the importance of creating a comprehensive 5G strategy. The results shed light on the fact that emotional and subjective attributes play a more significant role in the attitude formation of 5G sceptics, suggesting that emotional marketing may be an essential tool to facilitate adoption. Moreover, providing a promotional trial period, partnering with entertainment service providers, educational activities, and managing eWOM may be effective means to foster 5G adoption as well. Furthermore, regarding the currently available consumer use cases of the technology, the results validated the assumption, that the increased speed of online surfing does not provide a perceptible consumer surplus, however, streaming and gaming are perceived to be more enjoyable using 5G technology. As a consequence, streaming and gaming prove to be the first consumer use cases at the early stage of the technology, which may generate demands for 5G. Besides providing insights for practitioners, this study aims to broaden the yet scarce literature of the adoption of 5G technology and to draw researchers’ attention to the importance of emotions in the adoption of future technologies.

Item Type:MA/MSc thesis
Subjects:Knowledge economy, innovation
Transport and communications
ID Code:13688
Specialisation:Management and Leadership
Deposited On:12 Mar 2021 10:22
Last Modified:06 Dec 2021 11:02

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