A third of Brits unaware of 5G speed potential, Uswitch survey reveals


A new survey conducted by Uswitch.com has revealed that a third of Brits are still unaware of 5G speed potential, with 6 in 10 also believing that background apps should be closed to save battery life.

Almost seven in 10 (69%) Brits are sceptical about the facts surrounding 5G, including the claim that 5G is expected to be 100x faster than 4G.

After surveying over 2,000 UK residents on mobile and 5G myths from health conspiracies to charging misinformation, Uswitch.com determined the most widespread misconceptions that Brits still consider fact. 

Table 1: Common mobile and 5G myths

Rank Statement % of Brits that believe or disbelieve the myth  

True or false?


1. “5G is less environmentally friendly than 4G” 90% don’t believe Disputed
2. “Using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi will have little to no effect on your phone’s battery” 89% don’t believe True
3. “5G requires more power to use than 4G” 82% don’t believe True
4. “5G is expected to be 100x faster than 4G” 69% don’t believe True
5. “Apps running in the background should be closed to save battery” 60% believe False
6. “You should only charge your phone with the sole charger it was supplied with” 26% believe False
7. “Putting your phone in airplane mode will help it charge much faster” 23% believe Disputed
8. “Your phone’s signal can damage your debit and credit cards” 12% believe False
9. “5G is safer than Wi-Fi” 8% believe False
10. “5G increases the risk of poor health” 6% believe False

Source: Uswitch.com

A third of Brits are unaware of 5G speed potential

A third of Brits (33%) don’t believe that 5G has the potential to be 100 times faster than 4G. This is despite the fact that industry experts have proven that, in the right conditions,  5G download speeds can read 10 gigabits per second, which is 100 times faster than 4G. 

33% of Brits also believe that 5G is not as safe as Wi-Fi, even though industry experts state that no public Wi-Fi network is entirely secure. Whereas 5G networks encrypt customers’ identifying information, making it impossible to identify or locate. 

Despite conspiracy theorists alluding to the misconception that 5G increases the risk of poor health, 94% of Brits don’t believe this to be true. However, when broken up into age groups, just over three quarters (77%) of 16-24 year olds don’t believe this to be true, compared to 97% of those over 55.

Six in 10 Brits (60%) believe the myth that background apps should be closed to save battery, even though it has no effect on battery life. According to Apple Support, closing the app can actually worsen battery life because it uses more energy to load an app than it does to restart it from the ‘multitasking’ screen.

Those aged 55 and over are most likely to trust this misconception, with two-thirds (66%) believing it, compared to just over two-fifths (46%) of those aged between 16-24. More than a quarter of Brits (26%) believe that you should only charge your phone with the charger it was supplied with, although this myth is disproved by industry experts.

A similar percentage of Brits (23%) believe that putting your phone in airplane mode will help it charge faster. This is an idea that is believed most widely by 25-34 year olds, as two-fifths (38%) consider this to be fact. This is despite many industry experts believing it has little effect on battery life.

Says Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments:

“Over time, official charging accessories can degrade and it’s unlikely that they will last for the full life cycle of your device. Third-party charging accessories should not be harmful to devices, as long as they are UL-listed or USB-IF certified and of good quality. The most reliable way to charge devices quickly is to use a certified fast charger.”

For more information, visit USwitch’s guide on the facts about 5G and mobile networks.

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to TechDigest.tv