The topic of last week's poll touched on 5G networks. We asked whether our community was already taking advantage of this new technology. As always, we cross-referenced data from all four NextPit domains and correlated the answers. Without much further ado, here is what we have managed to discover, so check out the results below.
- The majority of the NextPit community do not yet own a 5G smartphone
- 5G subscription plans are more commonplace among the German community
- The trend points to wider 5G adoption by 2022
Do you own a smartphone with 5G support?
- Number of votes: 973 in total
Smartphones with 5G support have been on the market since 2019 and have arrived on mostly the premium variants of flagship devices from manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Motorola. Apple themselves rolled out their first iPhones that were equipped with 5G only late last year with the iPhone 12 family, and it wasn't until 2021 that we began to see a larger number of affordable handsets that support the new Internet technology.
Thus, considering how prices of 5G smartphones continue to find the sweet spot in the market, results of the first poll are unsurprising as they are in line with market reality.
Among English (54/44), French (51/46), and German (47/52) speakers, it is possible to notice a larger number of people who own a 5G-capable model compared to those who still have handsets which support less advanced technologies. Among those living in Brazil, however, the gap remains wide: 17% say they are already using a smartphone with 5G support, while 79% have not yet invested in one.
What caught my attention in this survey was the fact that most of the respondents answered that they already own a 5G-capable smartphone who are unaware of the frequency specifications employed in their devices. This brings me to the result of the second poll, as it allows us to understand why that is the case.
Do you already have a 5G data plan?
- Number of votes: 599 in total.
Concerning those who are already subscribed to a 5G data plan, results also fall within our expectations. Countries in the northern hemisphere showed a balance in the adoption rate of 5G data plans among mobile service providers.
Among those living in Germany, 44% mentioned that they are already using 5G in all of its capability (even if we have limited speeds today), while 51% claimed that they are still on a 4G/LTE data plan or something even more archaic. 5% of the German community claim that their mobile operator does not distinguish between 4G and 5G plans.
Already among the French-speaking community, 33% of them are already using 5G plans while 54% remain subscribed to current 4G contracts.
In Brazil, the scenario is completely different since the auction of 5G frequencies has not happened yet, with the use of the service being limited to the sharing of 4G networks in the form that is known as 5G DSS. Therefore, 80% of the Brazilian community stated that they now have a 5G plan.
This result does not come as a surprise of course as most participants already mentioned in the first poll that they do not own a smartphone with 5G support.
In general, however, I believe the fact that 5G is not yet widely used, especially in European countries (see image below). This further fuels the lack of knowledge about 5G specifications on different handsets which we discovered in the first poll. In that poll, 34% of the German community and 33% of the French community claimed that they do not know which frequency (mmWave, Sub-6GHz, DSS) is their smartphone compatible with when it concerns 5G support.
Compared to the results seen among English-speaking readers, the number of votes was minimal to indicate a real market trend.
I plan to subscribe to a 5G data plan...
- Number of votes: 469 in total.
Among those who do not have a 5G plan today, we see interest in subscribing to a contract that supports 5G building up over the next 18 months. Countries like Germany (26%) and France (30%) stand out as main examples, with participants planning to perform an upgrade by 2021.
The Brazilian community, meanwhile, seems to have high expectations for the greater development of technology in the country in 2022, given that 34% did say they want to have a 5G data plan next year.
Once again, the number of votes among English speakers was not enough to indicate a market trend.
It becomes clear that the 5G data network continues to be developed, with its availability in countries located in the northern hemisphere being very different from what we see in the southern hemisphere. However, the fact remains: we realized that many people do not even understand the different types of 5G network settings on their devices, and this raises a red flag about the lack of information concerning this topic among manufacturers and network operators.
Many people indicated through their comments about the technology in their respective countries, going to show just how limited 5G availability is, and this is seen noticeable in regions where the service is supposedly more widely available. This shows how the technology is not yet considered as a necessity in the lives of people, who seem to be doing all right with the existing 4G/LTE network.
However, the trend does point to more and more people opting for 5G in the future, which I believe is linked to the expectation of seeing the technology being adopted by a higher number of people, resulting in a faster Internet experience. I for one, cannot wait for that to happen.
Check out some of the top comments from our community below:
I don't have a 5G smartphone, because the performance offered by 4G already satisfies me beyond my real needs.
Jerome69Paris (French Community)
[ Are you already using 5G?] For that, it would be necessary to have equipment compatible with the 5G network, which is far from being the case for the vast majority of the population.
Emmanuel MILCENT (French Community)
I have not used 5G so far. Currently neither my phone nor my contract would allow for it. But I see no reason to change it on purpose at the moment. I simply don't see any advantage in daily browsing, chatting and streaming.
Timo L. (German Community)
I would be ready for 5G (I have a smartphone and a contract), but there is simply no practical use for it. Not even remotely. And mmWawe will NEVER be seriously usable for the masses, so you should avoid it immediately. That's just a waste of money.
Tim (German Community)
I have used 5G since August 2020 .;)
It's even faster than the @home internet. And of course much faster and better than just having and using 4G. ;-)
Nik M. (German Community)
It will take a while for me to think about seeing 5G... My next smartphone will for sure be compatible but it's very likely that it won't be available in my city so soon even if it arrives in Brazil.
Soterio Salles (Brazilian Community)
Many thanks to all the people who participated in the poll, as well as those who elaborated on their answers in the comments. If you have suggestions for new polls, feel free to share them. We'll have a new poll of the week next Friday!
Original poll text
If you bought a smartphone in 2021, I imagine you've wondered about investing in a model with 5G network support, right? A device like the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G costs $280, for example, and based on Samsung's upgrade policy, it can be used for the next four years. So, it would be a great investment. But do you already have a 5G-compatible data plan?
According to the GSMA, by 2025, 5G networks will likely cover a third of the world's population. And if we consider the results of a study comparing 4G and 5G technologies conducted by Ericsson, it is possible to say that the GSMA's expectations should prove to be true. According to Ericsson's analysis, 5G will cover more than 1 billion people by the end of 2020.
In other words, investing in a mobile phone with 5G support today is a good option, especially since mid-range models are already making the technology more accessible. That said, my first question in this poll is whether you already own a mobile phone with 5G support.
Over the past few months, our team has tested a number of handsets that are hitting the market with 5G variants. One of them is the OnePlus Nord CE, which can be purchased for 299 euros, approximately $350. I tested this device using the 5G plan of a carrier in Germany and honestly, it is noticeable the difference in speed and response time compared to my 4G plan and even my DSL internet network.
However, at the end of the day, it's not a must have. In particular, I have not yet switched my data plan to 5G, despite the fact that my Google Pixel 5 (Sub-6 support) offers the feature, as well as my carrier works with the Sub-6 network. The reason for this is that my mobile data consumption does not go beyond what the 4G network offers me today.
And that leads me to my next question: Do you have a 5G contract?
Ultimately, given the reality of 5G in the world today, it seems to me that we're dealing much more with a marketing campaign right now than an actual useful service for the end consumer. But of course the trend is that we will see a significant evolution of 5G in the coming years with IoT products coming to stores, autonomous cars and the development of smart cities.
And it is with an eye to the future that I would like to know if you are interested in purchasing a contract with 5G support from your carrier in the coming months or years.
As always, I would like to thank in advance all the people who will participate in this survey and share ideas in the comments. I wish each and everyone a great weekend and arrange to meet on Monday to reveal and analyze the results of this survey.