Ansys Survey: What Does 5G Mean to Consumers?

We’ve heard a lot about 5G: It’s coming, it’s here, it can’t go there, it will change our lives, it will better the planet, it isn’t secure, it will increase productivity and grow the economy, it’s too expensive, etc.

What we haven’t heard, however, is how consumers are processing all these different messages about the latest-and-greatest generation of wireless communication, and how these perceptions differ across generations and nationalities. Until now …

See how Ansys is helping to engineer the future of 5G

Survey Methodology:
Ansys enlisted Atomik Research and its team of MRS-certified researchers to conduct the online survey in March 2020. The sample included 16,037 adults 18-and-over, from the U.K., U.S., DACH (Austria, Germany and Switzerland), France, Sweden, Japan, China and India.

5G Survey Sample

Consumer Awareness of 5G

When asked, Do you know what 5G is, 78% of respondents said "yes." But, when we looked across geographies, we saw big differences between those in-the-know and those who answered "no":

  • 92% in China vs. 66% in Japan responded "yes."
  • 1 in 4 in the U.S. answered "no."
5G Survey Question 1: What is 5G?

Consumer Expectations of 5G

Across all geographies and generations, respondents believe "faster downloads" (#1) and elimination of "network issues" (#2) will have the most positive impact on their lives.

However, while the U.S. and Europe reported "increased capacity" as a bigger positive than an improved "work from home" (WFH) experience, APAC countries reported the opposite.

What are the benefits of 5G?

When Do Consumers Expect to Have Access to 5G?

Only 11% of respondents reported having access to 5G, while 42% expect 5G access to take one year or longer.

  • 16% of millennials have access; 58% believe they’ll have access within a year.
  • Baby boomers are less optimistic: Only 5% have access; 29% believe they’ll have access within a year.
When will we have access to 5G?

Is 5G Overhyped?

To would-be consumers, 5G is touted as a game-changer. However, when asked if the excitement was “warranted” (and a drastic improvement over 4G) or “overblown,” only 41% chose the former.

  • The British, by far, deem 5G “overblown,” while the Chinese and Indian respondents overwhelmingly believe the hype is warranted.
Is the hype around 5G warranted?

Few Participants Have Concerns Over 5G Safety

Survey participants in all geographies — with the important exception of APAC — most often selected “no concerns around 5G” from the list of provided responses.

  • 46% of respondents from Sweden have “no concerns” versus from China (15%) and India (12%).
  • 44% of baby boomers have “no concerns” versus 23% of millennials.
  • Respondents, most notably in China and India, were most concerned that 5G will be “too expensive”; concern about battery drainage was a close second.
What are your concerns around 5G

Show Me the Money

Do you think 5G will be positive for the economy? It depends whom you ask — and which gender, generation and country boxes they ticked.

  • While 44% of respondents believe the impact will be positive, 28% “don’t know” (16% think neither positive nor negative, 11% think “negative”).
  • In France, 17% believe 5G will have a negative economic impact.
Will 5G help the economy?