Internet of Things

Public shows poor understanding of 5G, says Deloitte

20% believe there are health risks associated with 5G
Image: Stockfresh

26 November 2020

Greater public understanding of 5G is required as 64% of respondents to Deloitte Ireland’s latest Digital Trends Survey on Attitudes towards 5G feel they do not know enough about the technology and its benefits.

The survey found Ireland performed favourably when it came to rollout. A total of 5% of respondents currently use 5G, while 24% said they would switch as soon as it is available to them. In the UK, just 2% of respondents claim to currently use 5G. Nearly half of all 5G users are in the Dublin area and are in the under-35 age category.


The survey found 20% of respondents believe there are health risks associated with 5G, while another 25% neither agreed nor disagreed.




“Misinformation is always a barrier to technological progress,” said John Kehoe, audit partner with deloitte and lead for the survey. “That is a worryingly high number and is further exacerbated by the fact that based on our survey, a greater proportion of young people aged 18-24 believe there are health risks (27%) compared to 20% overall and 7% of those aged 65-75. There needs to be a concerted effort to promote the benefits of 5G to the general consumer. Overall however, 64% of respondents agreed that they didn’t know enough about 5G in general.”

Three operators have active 5G networks – Eir, Vodafone and Three – with coverage ranging from 30%-50% of the Irish population by early 2021.

“While 5G rollout has been slow, we nonetheless compare favourably,” added Kehoe. “Other markets are likely to see strong demand, particularly in Asia, with China leading due to its strong investment in 5G infrastructure. In some of these markets, 5G is perceived to be of critical strategic interest, and major investment has been encouraged.”

For many of the world’s largest businesses, private 5G deployments will likely become the preferred choice, especially for industrial environments such as manufacturing plants, logistics centres and ports. Deloitte’s report predicts that the number of companies testing private 5G deployments is on pace to be well over 1,000 at the end of the year.

TechCentral Reporters 

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