5G connectivity is overhyped and many users are yet to experience improvements in mobile speed or reliability, according to a new study.
Research from Uswitch.com found that one in six mobile users felt the power of technology had been overstated and less than half said they had seen noticeable speed or reliability improvements since upgrading.
The study also noted a connectivity divide between urban and rural areas, with 17% of those in the countryside saying they had never been able to connect to a 5G network – three times as many as those in cities.
It found that some parts of the UK were struggling for signal beyond just 5G – in Yorkshire, only 48% of residents said they receive a reliable 4G service, and 14% said they often had to use a 2G network, which dates back to the 1990s.
Mobile networks have begun announcing plans to phase out their older networks in order to free up space for more 4G and 5G services in the years to come.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at Uswitch.com, said it was important to note that 5G had only begun being introduced in the last three years, and therefore needed more time to reshape the country’s connectivity landscape.
“After the promise of 5G delivering ultrafast speeds to our mobiles, it’s no wonder that many consumers still don’t understand what the fuss is about when compared to their everyday experiences,” he said.
“But it’s important to remember 5G was first trialled in the UK just three years ago, so this technology is really still in its infancy. We’re still only scratching the surface of what it can do.
“When the technology reaches its potential – and more importantly is readily available to all – it won’t just change the speed of our mobile data, but how we live our lives.
“With multiple concurrent users in the home becoming commonplace due to our new hybrid normal, and the rise of plug-and-play mobile broadband as a viable alternative to fixed line services, 5G could well play a pivotal role in connecting our homes in ways we may have never imagined.”