More than half of the Nordic consumers are not familiar with the most fundamental aspects of 5G. Furthermore, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about health risks are spreading like wildfire.

Even though some Nordic telecom operators have already activated their 5G networks, many Nordic consumers do not seem to understand the technology or how it will fully affect their lives. In fact, more than half (61%) of the Nordic respondents state that they think they do not know enough about 5G. Furthermore, while it seems natural to assume that 5G is an improvement in terms of speed and connectivity compared to the current 4G technology, our Nordic respondents do not seem to be convinced. Data indicates that less than half (44%) of the Nordic consumers think that 5G will lead to improved mobile connectivity.

A toxic mixture of misinformation

It looks like 5G has raised concerns and elicited scepticism among Nordic consumers. Consumer expectations for 5G have been trending downward between 2018 and 2020. In 2018, 67% would switch to 5G eventually, if it was recommended or when available. That figure dropped to 63% in 2019 and 59% in 2020. Furthermore, the percentage of consumers who do not know if they want to move to 5G has increased from 20% in 2018 to 22% in 2020. This growing hesitance to switch to 5G may be caused by the misplaced health concerns and conspiracy theories. It may also be caused by other factors, such as perceived lack of benefits of 5G over 4G for most consumer applications.

The data also reveals another trend among Nordic consumers: the higher the perceived level of knowledge about 5G, the greater the proportion of consumers who disagree with the claim that 5G leads to increased health risks. Among Nordic consumers with a low level of 5G knowledge, 39% believe that there are no health risks associated with 5G. When the question is posed to those among the respondents who perceive themselves as wellinformed consumers, the number increases to 73%.

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