Roy Morgan Research
August 12, 2019

Australians need convincing on the benefits of 5G technology

Topic: Press Release
Finding No: 8086

New research from Roy Morgan shows that the vast majority of Australians (91.4%) are aware of the new 5G technology and a majority of 56.7% ‘would consider using 5G as an alternative to the NBN’. However, fewer than half (46.9%) ‘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 services5G technology is the next upgrade’ and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of attitude statements.

Although a majority of 59% 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% 'would switch my mobile phone or internet provider to get 5G’ and 27.5% 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%) ‘concerned about the health risks of 5G technology’ and over a fifth (20.6%) ‘worry that changing to 5G will increase the risk to my data security’.

Attitudes towards 5G Technology

Source: Roy Morgan WEBBUS 5G Awareness Survey. June 20-23, 2019, n=626. Base: Australians aged 18-64. 

Analysing these results more closely reveals that Australians in a number of key demographic groups are more likely to be unaware of 5G technology than the average Australian (8.6%):

• Australians aged 50+ (9.1%);

• Located in Country Areas (9.3%) or the States of NSW (11.7%) and Tasmania (17.2%);

• Educated at a Year 10 level or below (27.6%);

• Have a personal income of under $50,000 per year (10.3%).

Australians view ‘Faster internet speeds’ as major benefit of 5G technology

Australians who were aware of 5G technology were also asked an open-ended question about ‘What benefits do you think 5G technology will offer?’ Over two-thirds identified ‘Faster internet speed’ (71.5%) as a benefit well ahead of ‘Better connection/reliability’ (16.4%), ‘Better bandwidth/capacity’ (6.8%) while other benefits were mentioned by fewer than 5%.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says 5G technology is being rolled out in Australia this year with mobile service providers launching 5G capable phones to take advantage of the enhanced capabilities of the new networks:

Block Quote

“A special Roy Morgan web 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%) 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.

“Perhaps 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% 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.

“Contact Roy Morgan to learn more about which Australians are considering upgrading their services and devices to take advantage of the new capabilities offered by 5G technology, who their current mobile and internet service providers are and why they are considering making the leap.” 

Learn more about Roy Morgan’s Mobile Phone Service Provider customer profiles for leading Australian mobile networks including TelstraOptus and Vodafone

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
40% – 60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
1,000 ±3.0 ±2.7 ±1.9 ±1.3
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3
50,000 ±0.4 ±0.4 ±0.3 ±0.2

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