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55% of UK millennials are positive about 5G – but two thirds of people won’t buy a 5G phone

 ‘5G: Connecting the consumer’ report from OPPO.
(Image credit: OPPO.)

A new piece of research from phone manufacturer OPPO – titled ‘5G: Connecting the consumer’ – has been conducted by independent research consultancy Censuswide, and it canvasses the views of 3,000 UK consumers on the future role they see 5G playing for them, and for the nation as a whole.

The survey found a big variation in how people of different ages view 5G technology, with more than half (55%) of millennials (25-to-34-year olds) feeling positive about the role of 5G, compared to just a quarter (26%) of those aged over 55.

"While consumers understand how it will benefit the economy, they don’t necessarily understand the hugely positive impact it will have on their personal lives."

Kevin Cho, OPPO UK.

“The benefits of  5G itself are not always fully understood,” said Kevin Cho, managing director at OPPO UK, in his introduction to the report. “While consumers understand how it will benefit  the economy, they don’t necessarily understand the hugely positive impact it will have on their  personal lives – which explains why many don’t  intend to buy a 5G phone.”

Two thirds won't buy a 5G phone

Despite younger people seeing some benefits of 5G, there were still two-thirds (65%) of people surveyed that said they had no interest in buying a 5G phone. And this is despite the survey finding that, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, half of consumers (44%) are now more reliant on their mobile phones than they were before.

"There’s so much more consumers can glean from their devices with 5G – from better quality streaming and faster browsing, right through to experiencing virtual and augmented reality on-the-go."

Kevin Cho, OPPO UK.

“Consumers have been reluctant to embrace 5G for some time,” Cho explained. “While the business case for implementing the new network has always been clear, there’s been a dearth of information around how 5G will enhance consumers’ lives day-to-day which has meant they’ve often felt side-lined.”

“And yet there’s so much more consumers can glean from their devices with 5G – from better quality streaming and faster browsing, right through to experiencing virtual and augmented reality on-the-go. The future of 5G and connectivity is incredibly exciting and we’re looking forward to creating even more ways for our customers to enjoy its benefits both inside and outside of the home.”

Engagement is vital

Half of the consumers (48%) surveyed believe the biggest benefits of 5G would be faster download/streaming speeds, and a fifth (20%) want to buy a 5G phone so that they can stream on the go without lag or interruption. But the mobile phone and networking industries clearly still have work to do, to educate consumers on exactly how 5G can benefit them.

“5G isn’t just in the national interest,” Cho said. “It’s set to transform our day-to-day lives: empowering us  and connecting us on an unprecedented scale. So now, as an industry, it’s vital that we engage with the public. 2021 needs to be the year  consumers fall in love with 5G, so that everyone  can take advantage of this incredible technology.”

Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.