UAE: 54% residents willing to pay more for 5G access

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Dubai - The report examines the attitudes, behaviours, and preferences of 18,803 respondents in 17 global markets

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 31 Aug 2021, 10:03 AM

The UAE is leading the world in the deployment of fifth-generation telecom technology. With nearly half of 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 examines the attitudes, behaviours, and preferences of 18,803 respondents towards 5G in 17 global markets.

Data from the white paper showed that 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 per cent consumers across the surveyed markets claim to have 5G-enabled smartphones; over half (52 per cent) do not, while 18 per cent are not sure whether or not their smartphone is 5G enabled.

While many countries are still looking to explore 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 per cent).

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 per cent of respondents worldwide whose devices are 5G-enabled, only 42 per cent say they currently pay a 5G tariff. In the UAE, about three in ten (29 per cent) 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 per cent) are likely to get it in the future.

The data showed 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%) of 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.

However, the UAE is leading the world with its drive to commercialise 5G network across the nation, many consumers harbour concerns about the technology too.


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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%), 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.

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