Less than 1% users ready to switch to 5G would be able to do so – report

According to a recent Deloitte consumer research, 5.8 million UK mobile users are happy to move to 5G networks but only 50,000 5G phones will hit the market.

The consulting firm surveyed 4,150 respondents aged 16-75 in the UK to produce the country section of their latest report, Mobile Consumer Survey 2018. One of the responses that stood out was on the consumers’ willingness to switch to 5G when it becomes available. 12% of the respondents said yes, a further 19% said they would if the word-of-mouth is positive, and 32% thought they would eventually switch.

To extrapolate the responses to the whole mobile using population, Deloitte believed up to 5.8 million users in the UK would be willing to adopt 5G as soon as it becomes available, which will happen this year. If the experience pleases the first adopters and they spread the word, 9.2 million more would be happy to jump on board. Meanwhile, Deloitte predicted that only about 50,000 5G enabled phones will be available in the UK market this year. This would translate into a 118 to 1 chance for a willing customer to get her hand on a 5G phone. That stands lower than the chance of Tottenham Hotspurs winning this season’s Premier League (100 to 1 by William Hill at the time of writing).

The question is constructed, and responses distributed like this:

Deloitte 5G questions Mar19

Odds aside, there is a fundamental element missing from this question: the consumers’ willingness to pay. And this includes two parts: paying for the “5 times faster” service and paying for the handsets that can carry such service.

Nearly half (48%) of telecom professionals answering survey believed consumers would not pay more than 10% for 5G over what they pay now. Handsets are another issue. Huawei’s flagship 5G phone would cost a whopping 2,299€ (£1,972). The most affordable 5G phone that has been given an official price is the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G which is priced at 599€ (£514). Samsung has not given price indication of the 5G version of its Galaxy S10 series, but the 4G version is priced at £799. It is also worth noting that neither Huawei nor Samsung has managed to ship premium segment products in volume. Apple, the only brand that has delivered volume in this segment, is also seeing consumer enthusiasm weakening, and we would not see a 5G iPhone soon either.

If the payment consideration had been factored in the survey question, we might see the chances for those consumers really willing and ready to switch to 5G to actually do so vastly improved.

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