New research has found that 12 per cent of UK smartphone users would switch to a 5G network as soon as it becomes available.
The research comes from accounting firm Deloitte as part of the UK section of its 2018 Mobile Consumer Survey, which asked 4,150 UK respondents aged 16-75 about their mobile phone habits.
Of these, 19 per cent of smartphone users said they would switch to a 5G network if they started hearing good things about it.
According to Deloitte’s TMT Predictions 2019 report, 5G smartphone shipments in the UK will total about 50,000 this year, growing to between two and three million in 2020. Globally, out of one and a half billion smartphones sold in 2019, about one million will be 5G-capable.
Deloitte head of research for technology, media and telecoms Paul Lee said: “The addressable market demand for upgrading to 5G is plain to see, with at least 15 million people ready to switch as soon as it is available and working properly.
“The adoption rate for 5G in the UK is likely to be slower than for 4G, largely as the UK may be amongst the first countries to see 5G launched across all operators.
“The first 4G launch was in 2009, but it was not until 2013 that all UK operators had launched their networks.
“Sales of 5G handsets sold in the UK this year will be just tens of thousands. It will take some time before the full extent of the new capabilities of 5G are demonstrated and proficiently marketed by vendors.
“Data-hungry consumers are naturally craving the data speeds 5G will offer, which are likely to be between ten and one hundred times faster than current connections.”