Amárach Research: 80% of Irish Consumers Want Widespread 5G Network Coverage in Ireland by 2025


80% of Irish consumers believe it is extremely important for Irish society that there is widespread 5G network coverage in Ireland by 2025, according to a new study by Amárach Research.

The “5G Future” report, completed by Amárach Research on behalf of Huawei Ireland, examines Irish consumers’ understanding and expectations of 5G, focusing on how they view it will impact and improve their daily and working lives.

The survey found Irish consumers’ understanding of 5G has moved beyond it simply facilitating faster internet and better mobile network coverage. Irish consumers believe 5G will play a major transformative role in introducing new products and services in Ireland, with the majority (61%) expecting 5G to enable new technologies as well as improving existing and emerging technology.

Overall, 76% of Irish adults say their lives have generally been improved by technology, with just 3% saying it has had negative impacts. The report bodes well for the adoption of 5G technology, and indeed that there is impatience for the arrival of applications. 

Consumers recognise the importance of 5G ‘smart’ applications for Ireland.  Smart energy grids (60%), smart homes (45%), smart cities (40%), and real-time translations (53%) were named as some of the 5G applications that will play an important role in the future of the country.

Irish consumers are excited about the new applications 5G will enable that are currently out of reach. Nearly a third of Irish adults (32%) would avail of delivery drones if available, while 41% of adults think that driverless vehicles (enabled by 5G) will improve workplace safety for dangerous tasks. Two out of five (39%) of adults would use autonomous stores where customers simply enter the store logged into an app on their 5G smartphone and no traditional checkout is required.

The importance to Irish consumers of 5G in improving emerging services, particularly in areas that have become more relevant since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic such as telehealth and eLearning, were also revealed.  58% of adults think telehealth will be an important feature of Irish society over the next five years. 70% believe telehealth could reduce waiting times for medical consultations and treatments, while 76% state it has the potential to improve medical access in rural Ireland. Regarding 5G enabled eLearning and tele-education, 55% of Irish people are convinced that these innovations will play an important part in improving Ireland’s education and training sector. Over half (52%) of adults would be more likely to undertake upskilling or further education if eLearning or tele-education were more widely available.

Those surveyed also outlined the significance of 5G to Ireland’s economic future post Covid-19, with 58% noting 5G investment as being important to economic recovery and 74% stating it is very or extremely important for Ireland’s economy that the technological infrastructure is in place so people can effectively work remotely.

Commenting on the findings, Gerard O'Neill, Chairman Amárach Research said: “76% of Irish adults agree technology has had a positive impact on their lives, and the evidence points to the Irish public having high expectations of the possibilities the roll-out of 5G technology will bring to their lives at home and at work. What seemed futuristic a few years ago, such as driverless cars and delivery drones, are now within reach through new digital infrastructure and 5G.”

Commenting, Tony Yangxu, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Ireland, said: “The findings point to an exciting 5G future, one that will not only benefit all of our daily lives, but will also enable Ireland to grow in the years ahead. 5G represents a range of limitless potential and possibilities for consumers. Huawei is rolling out 5G across the globe, and is fully committed to being part of the roll out of 5G across Ireland, helping to create a world-leading digital infrastructure.”

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