Global: Will 5G find its way into consumer’s pockets?

Cheryl Kar
July 30, 2021, 2:08 PM UTC

While consumer concerns regarding 5G persist, is there any sign they will affect the public’s likeliness to purchase a 5G tariff in the same numbers as users have adopted the previous generation of network technology?

In the UK, 5G is already widely available, with mobile operators like EE making ambitious plans to offer services everywhere in the UK by 2028. Rapid expansion could encourage more Britons to sign up for this wireless technology - data from our new global report The 5G Opportunity suggests that only 40% of British consumers are likely to do so in the future.  

But while this overall figure may appear gloomy for operators, breaking the data down by age shows that the youngest consumers are almost twice as likely as the oldest to get a 5G tariff in the future (51% of 18-24-year-olds vs. 26% of those 55+). In fact, more than half of 18-24-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds tell us that they plan to adopt this new technology. 

In the report, YouGov also shows data across 17 key global markets to help companies and brands effectively target 5G adopters. The data indicates that about one in two adults globally say that they are likely to purchase a 5G tariff in the future. 

With 5G gradually taking its full form in the Asian market, our data indicates that it’s consumers in these countries who show the most interest in purchasing it. Leading this list is online Indonesia (84%) followed by online China (79%) and urban India (75%) where intension to get a 5G tariff remains quite prominent. More than half of the consumers in online Hong Kong and Singapore, who secure the eighth and ninth rank on the global list, also show interest in buying a 5G tariff. However, it is only in Australia where the interest fades as only 39% of the respondents here are likely to purchase a 5G connection in future. 

There’s striking difference amongst consumers in North America. In urban Mexico, seven in ten respondents are likely to get a 5G tariff in the future whereas, in the US, the interest falls to 22% with more than half of the adults remaining undecided by admitting that they don’t know if they plan to buy a 5G tariff (52%). 

Within Europe, it is consumers in Poland and Spain who show the highest interest in getting a 5G tariff (67% and 63% respectively). Likeliness to get a 5G tariff dips in other countries, such as, Italy (47%), Denmark (42%), Great Britain (40%), Sweden (38%), Germany (33%) and France (31%).

While 5G trials are still being carried out in some countries, it’s safe to say that consumers worldwide are looking forward to experiencing the benefits of the next-gen network. But marketers in some countries will need to work harder than in others.  

Read our full report, The 5G Opportunity, here 

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Methodology: The data is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 17 markets with sample sizes varying between 508 and 2019 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in April 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples.