Only a fifth of Brits think 5G will improve their lives

Employees on their mobile phones
(Image credit: Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels)

Only a fifth of Brits believe that 5G connectivity will change their lives, suggesting that the mobile industry’s belief that next-generation networks will transform society and industry has not captured the imagination of the general public.

The UK is the third-most pessimistic country in YouGov’s rankings, with 36% saying they neither disagreed nor disagreed that 5G would benefit them. 

Worldwide, 51% believed 5G would deliver improvements and only 15% said it would not yield any benefit.

5G rollout

5G networks offer faster speeds, greater capacity and much lower latency than previous generations of mobile technology. 

This means 5G can enable data-intensive, latency-sensitive consumer applications, support mass IoT networks, and connect mission critical industrial systems to cellular infrastructure for the first time.

However, it is arguable that the leap from 4G to 5G is less revolutionary than it was from 3G to 4G in terms of mobile broadband – at least in the eyes of the consumer. Meanwhile, many of the most revolutionary services, such as in VR and gaming are not yet mass propositions.

The findings demonstrate that operators and the wider mobile ecosystem still has work to do in convincing consumers about the virtues of 5G.

Nonetheless, early adoption of the technology has not been hindered. Ericsson believes there will be more than one billion 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of the year, a figure which will reach 4.4 billion by 2027. Within five years, 5G will account for 90% of all mobile subscriptions in North America, 82% in Western Europe, and 74% in Northeast Asia

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.