Mobile operator 3 Denmark said that more than half of Danes do not know what 5G stands for, and three quarters of them do not expect the new type of network to make much difference to their lives, at least at first.
It referred to a survey of 1,000 people, which found that of the 58 percent of respondents who said they knew what 5G stood for, only 66 percent correctly understood that it means the fifth-generation mobile network, with 27 percent believing it referred to 5 gigabits. Six percent thought it meant the mobile network was five times faster.
The survey found that 18 percent of respondents did not think 5G would differ at all from 4G/LTE, with 24 percent thinking there would be only a little difference, 26 percent believing there would be some difference, 11 percent expecting a lot of difference, and 6 percent predicting a great deal of difference.
3 Denmark said that 24 percent of respondents did not think 5G would make any difference to their own daily life in the coming 12 months. It said 33 percent thought there would be a little difference, 15 percent some difference, with 6 percent thinking there would be a great deal of difference and 2 percent expecting a very big change. However, 19 percent of respondents did not know if 5G would have any effect on their daily lives within a year.
To see such a high level of ignorance and indifference to 5G technology, even in a very advanced mobile market such as Denmark’s, is a strong indication that operators are going to need to put a lot of effort into educating the public if they want to see a return on their investment in the new high-speed networks.
It is one thing to advertise 5G and tout its benefits; it is quite another to make those benefits understandable to consumers in a way that makes them think it is worth their money. 5G requires not only subscriptions but new devices, and if subscribers are to purchase plans and compatible devices, they will need to know what 5G can do for them. And before they can understand the specifics, they must first know what 5G is. If 42 percent of Danes say they do not even know what 5G is, and if over a quarter of those who say they do know are actually incorrect, operators have a lot of work ahead of them.
The fact that three out of four Danes do not expect 5G to make much a difference in their lives is perhaps even more damning. The lesson is much the same—MNOs that are developing the new networks have to take very seriously the task of selling them to the public, and education is critical to that task.