US and Britain – What factors are most likely to drive – and deter - 5G upgrades this year?
September 23rd, 2022, Kineree Shah

US and Britain – What factors are most likely to drive – and deter - 5G upgrades this year?

Some 5G phones users will be able to connect to satellites next year potentially making messaging in dead cell phone zones possible thanks to the partnership between SpaceX’s Starlink and T-Mobile. iPhone 14 users will be able to access this emergency SOS feature in November. But are consumers ready to make the switch to 5G?

According to YouGov Profiles, an audience intelligence tool, nearly two in five Americans already own 5G phones (38%). However, more than a quarter (27%) say they do not intend to upgrade their phones to 5G in the coming year. Over in Britain, only a fifth have phones with 5G capabilities (18%), while nearly half say they have no intention of upgrading in the next 12 months (49%).

As for why Americans and Britons are likely to get 5G, more than one in 10 say it's because they need a new phone (15% US and 12% GB). This illustrates how important new technology (and the obsolescence of older phone models) is in driving customers onto 5G tariffs.

Less than a tenth cite a good deal from 5G network providers as the reason (8% US and 7% GB) and a similar number say it is because they are excited about 5G benefits (7% US and 5% GB). This is interesting because it shows that the lure of 5G tech is less of a factor than convenience and value right now.

Americans and Britons are least likely to switch to 5G phones because of enhanced data privacy.

When asked why consumers don’t want to switch to 5G, seven in 10 Britons say it’s because they are not interested in 5G (68%). In comparison more than half Americans say the same (56%). More than a third of Britons (38%) and nearly half of Americans (47%) cited the high price of new 5G phones (38%) as the reason for adopting the new technology.

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YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for US and Britain markets is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.