Research from Roy Morgan shows that the vast majority of Australians (91.4 per cent) are aware of 5G technology and a majority of 56.7 per cent ‘would consider using 5G as an alternative to the NBN’. However, fewer than half (46.9 per cent) ‘would seriously consider buying a 5G phone’.
Roy Morgan interviewed a cross-section of 626 Australians aged 18+ in late June 2019 who were asked “Have you heard of 5G technology for mobile phone and internet services?” and those that were aware were then told “4G is the current technology used for mobile phone and mobile internet services. 5G technology is the next upgrade’ and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of attitude statements.
Although a majority of 59 per cent of Australians aware of 5G disagree that ‘5G doesn’t have any benefits that would make me switch’ , around a quarter of respondents would make the switch to 5G today – 28.7 per cent ‘would switch my mobile phone or internet provider to get 5G’ and 27.5 per cent are ‘willing to pay more for a faster mobile internet connection’.
However, there are concerns about the new technology amongst some respondents with just over a quarter of respondents (26.1 per cent) ‘concerned about the health risks of 5G technology’ and over a fifth (20.6 per cent) ‘worry that changing to 5G will increase the risk to my data security’.
Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, said: “ [The] survey shows that while over 9-in-10 Australians are aware of 5G technology only around a quarter of Australians aware of 5G (28.7 per cent) are ready to switch mobile phone or internet providers to get 5G today. The new 5G technology has long been hailed as a significant upgrade to the communications infrastructure we all use every day via our mobile phones or devices. The faster speeds, greater bandwidth and new features that will be available via 5G enabled devices will enable the inter-connectivity known as the ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) to become reality rather than science fiction.”
“At present the Australians most likely to consider buying a 5G phone tend to be aged 25-34 years old, with a personal income of over $50,000 per annum and be living in a Capital City while those more likely to switch providers to get 5G are more likely to be with Optus or TPG. Most importantly in an Australian context is the possibility that 5G enabled devices could supplant the National Broadband Network (NBN) as consumers seek fast and cheap access to the Internet. Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair (ACCC) Rod Sims has flagged 5G networks as a good competitive threat to bring down wholesale prices of the NBN and already a majority of 56.7 per cent of Australians aware of 5G say they would consider using 5G as an alternative to the NBN.”
“However, although 5G has a great deal of promise for the near future, there are issues raised by many Australians including potential health concerns, risks to data security, and the reliability of new 5G devices that while offering new capabilities are likely to wear out their batteries at much faster rates than existing 4G enabled devices,” she concluded.