More than half of UAE residents are willing to pay more for 5G access
August 31st, 2021, Bhawna Singh

More than half of UAE residents are willing to pay more for 5G access

YouGov’s latest report reveals attitudes and behaviours towards 5G in 17 key markets

The UAE is leading the world in the deployment of the fifth-generation telecom technology. With nearly half of the respondents claiming to use a 5G enabled phone, the UAE leads in terms of 5G adoption across the globe, according to YouGov’s latest report.

The report titled International Telco Report 2021 examines the attitudes, behaviours, and preferences towards 5G in 17 global markets.

Data from the whitepaper shows while 5G may be the future of connectivity, it has yet to catch on a scale, with massive variation in adoption and attitudes across global markets. Only 26% of consumers in all 17 surveyed markets claim to have 5G-enabled smartphones; half (52%) do not, while 18% are not sure whether or not their smartphone is 5G enabled.

While many countries are still looking to explore the 5G technology, the UAE has come a long way in adopting and making 5G a part of its future plans. Data suggests that after China, UAE is one of the leading countries where respondents claim to be using a 5G enabled smartphone (48%).

On the other hand, respondents in Germany (17%), the UK (16%), and France (16%) are least likely to say they own a 5G enabled smartphone.

Out of the 26% of respondents worldwide whose devices are 5G enabled, only 42% say they currently pay a 5G tariff. In the UAE, about three in ten (29%) respondents currently pay 5G tariffs, which is nearly five times greater than respondents in France (6%), Italy (6%), and the US (8%). Among those who currently do not have a tariff, more than seven in ten (72%) are likely to get it in the future.

The data shows UAE stands out in several respects of future intentions. More than half (54%) of the respondents in UAE see the benefit of 5G technology and are willing to pay more for it.

In addition to this, UAE residents seem optimistic about the technology and more than three-fourth (77%) respondents agree with the statement "5G will change how people connect to the internet". Among different age groups, the younger adults, between 25-34 years, are most likely to believe it, with eight in ten (80%) agreeing with the statement. Respondents aged 18 to 24 are only slightly behind (with 77% agreeing), while the older cohorts, those between 35-44 years and 45-55 years, were comparatively less likely to agree (73% and 76% respectively).

The favourable attitudes among younger respondents towards 5G is likely to translate to higher levels of current engagement and future intent.

While the UAE is leading the world with its drive to commercialise 5G network across the nation, many consumers harbour concerns about the technology. Concern among UAE respondents (at 48%) is one of the highest in the world after India (53%). Worry is much lesser among respondents in the UK (18%), Denmark (20%), the US (23%) and Australia (24%). This highlights a clear barrier that telcos need to overcome. In order to do so, they need to improve their marketing efforts and communicate more about the benefits of 5G.

Who are the dedicated, highly engaged early 5G adopters – and how can companies and brands effectively target them? Download the full report and find out.