5G struggles to be a big deal in some regions, survey finds

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5G is the latest generation of wireless connectivity featuring higher data speeds, ultra-low latency, reliable connections to a massive network of devices, and much more — but many still aren't bothered with it.

A survey from market and consumer data company Statista (via Notebookcheck) revealed that many countries in Europe aren't interested in the fifth-generation wireless cellular standard, despite its data rates of up to 10Gbps. 

According to the survey, only a few people are interested in 5G connectivity. This includes only 16% of people surveyed in Switzerland, 15% in Germany, 13% in Austria and a low 10% in Finland. However, other countries have shown more signs of interest, especially Brazil, which saw 41% of people finding relevance in the new-gen cellular standard.

China and the United States weren't too far behind, showing 30% and 25% of interest in the people surveyed, respectively. Spain averaged 22% of people interested. The consumer survey reached out to 2,000 people back in 2021, meaning interest in 5G may have gained over the past few months in 2022.

The most recent generation of smartphones, including the iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Pixel 6, come with 5G as standard. However, we're now seeing many budget phones come equipped with 5G, including the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G and Realme 9 Pro+ 5G. Even the most affordable iPhone SE (2022) comes with the 5G now.

As stated in our explainer, there are three frequencies in which 5G operates. The fastest, high-band via millimeter-wave (mmWave), covers radio band frequencies of 30GHz to 300GHz. This is where we see the amazing speed tests with download speeds topping 1Gbps under the right conditions.

The limits on high-band 5G are closer to 10Gbps, and potentially in 20Gbps. As you might have guessed, the big downside here is the range. Real-world testing of the current implementations of mmWave has shown connections drop after just a few hundred feet and any obstructions — like going inside — will cut that even further. 

5G aims to offer near-instant access to cloud services, multiplayer cloud gaming, better-augmented reality, and real-time video translation and collaboration, but you’ll find a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) can offer the same.

As the survey points out, many may believe that unless you’re in dire need of superfast data transfer speeds and instant connections, you may not require 5G connectivity...yet. If you are, however, check out our list of best smartphones you can nab right now. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.