Report: The hype around 5G should be taken seriously

While a global survey shows overall excitement over 5G cellular communication, the US has been slower to get on board, according to a survey by Ansys.

The rapid development of 5G covers the concept map of the earth. 3D render of a cold glowing earth with rays of explosive perspective.

Image: hqrloveq, Getty Images/iStockphoto

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to shift operations from the physical to virtual world, the demand for strong connectivity has never been more critical. A recent survey from Ericsson found that 5G subscriptions were predicted to reach 190 million by the end of the year –– and by 2025, they're expected to hit 2.8 billion. 

A new survey released on Tuesday from Ansys confirms that the hype around 5G should be taken seriously. The survey, conducted from March 10-13, looked at the global attitudes of more than 16,000 adults –– from the UK, US, France, Sweden, Japan, India, China, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland –– around the development of 5G, and what it means for the enterprise. 

 
5G technology is significantly faster (more than 10 times faster) than 4G LTE—whereas, its predecessor hits its limit between 300 Mbps and 1 Gbps, 5G boasts speeds of 1 to 10 Gbps. 

While 41% percent of respondents see 5G as having a positive impact on the economy––the majority response––there's still a learning curve: More than a fifth of respondents don't know what 5G even is. 

And the enthusiasm varies by geographic region. In the US, only 34% view 5G as having the potential to positively impact the economy, versus 81% of those surveyed in China. Further, only a quarter of Americans see 5G as a significant improvement over 4G, while 77% of those in China and 75% of Indian respondents regarded it this way.
 
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Those surveyed reported a wide range of time frames that they predicted 5G would be accessible. Those who said that 5G is more than a year out composed 42% of total global respondents, but China and India were more confident that it would arrive within the next year— each at 85%.

The perception of the overall  benefits of 5G also varied by nationality. The global average was that 30% of those surveyed believed that 5G's benefits are being overhyped. But in China and India, 75% said that the hype is warranted. 

Respondents were queried about their health concerns over 5G technology, which varied by generation as well as nationality. Millennials were more likely (28%) than baby boomers (13%), to report health concerns. Nearly half (44%) of Indians believed it would negatively affect their health, whereas only 25% of Germans shared these concerns.

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