UK public failing to recognise the potential of 5G

25th June 2020
Joe Bush

A new global study from physics-based simulation company Ansys has uncovered the British public is lagging behind other countries in attitudes to 5G. Only 22% of Brits believe the excitement over 5G is warranted and will be a drastic improvement over 4G.

This contrasts with respondents in China (77%) and India (75%), who more strongly believe 5G will have a major impact. The US (26%), Japan (40%), the DACH region (28%), France (29%), and Sweden (26%) all back 5G more than the UK. 

Brits also aren’t confident they’ll have access to it within a year – a whopping 61% think they’ll have access to it one year from now or later and only 20% believe they’ll be accessing 5G within 3-12 months. This contrasts with the global average; 58% of global respondents anticipate having access to 5G within a year, with a third (33%) expecting it within six months.

Once 5G is here however, less than one-third of Brits (30%) think 5G will have a positive impact on the economy. The public in China and India appear to possess a more advanced understanding – more than three-quarters of respondents in both countries believe the impact on the economy will be positive (China 81%, India 78%).

There are concerns over 5G’s usage in all countries, however, with less than one-third (31%) of global consumers having no concerns (see table below for global concerns). Concerns include: 5G being too expensive (33%), it draining phone battery (25%), and it not being secure (20%). These concerns appear highest in the east – China respondents are the most concerned over 5G being expensive (47%) and India respondents are more concerned about security (29%) than any other country. Only 25% of Brits are concerned about security and draining phone battery, but 37% think 5G will be expensive.

Despite these concerns, most countries are aligned on the benefits that 5G will bring. Faster downloads and eliminating network issues in crowded areas rank number one and two in the US, Europe, Japan, China, and India.

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