HEIDELBERG (dpa-AFX) – At least half of the population in Germany has never used the fifth-generation mobile network (5G). This is the result of a representative opinion poll by Innofact AG published on Saturday and commissioned by the comparison portal Verivox.
In the survey, 40 percent of people in Germany stated that they had already used the 5G network one or more times. According to the survey, 49 percent have never been in the 5G network, 10 percent are not sure. They have either been on the 5G network unknowingly or belong to the group that has not yet transmitted data on a 5G network.
The 5G mobile network is faster than previous network generations (LTE or UMTS). It also has lower latency, which means the connection will be more responsive when accessing websites or apps. This plays a role in online gaming, for example. 5G also allows a greater number of devices to be connected at the same time. This is important, for example, at major events such as a football game when many fans in the stadium are uploading or watching videos at the same time.
According to the latest statistics from the Federal Network Agency, around 85 percent of Germany is currently supplied with 5G networks. In the city states of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, the coverage is almost nationwide, in the larger states the values are lower. Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia have the lowest rollout rates at just under 80 percent.
The expansion rate also varies between the four providers. Telekom recently reported a figure of 94 percent household coverage for 5G. Vodafone’s 5G household coverage is 80 percent, Telefónica (O2) 75 percent. The newcomer 1&1 has so far only operated a few of its own 5G radio masts. Large discounter brands such as Aldi Talk, which mainly operate in Telefónica networks, do not yet offer 5G tariffs.
“It is no surprise that 5G network utilization remains below potential in times of high inflation,” said Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President Telecommunications at Verivox. “After all, anyone who wants to surf via 5G needs an appropriate smartphone and a 5G-compatible tariff. Both components are comparatively expensive.” Recently, however, the prices for 5G smartphones had fallen sharply. Entry-level models are available from around 200 euros.
The Verivox survey showed no urban-rural divide in 5G usage, although the 5G network is better developed in urban areas than in rural areas. For example, 20 percent of the residents of rural communities and smaller towns state that they have already been in the 5G network several times – among residents of large cities (from 100,000 inhabitants) it is only slightly more at 25 percent. There is also a small difference in the number of non-users, which is 50 percent in smaller towns and communities and 47 percent in large cities.
However, 5G usage decreases with age. Young people under the age of 30 state that they have already used the 5G network at least once. Among those surveyed over 70, it is only 17 percent. Among those surveyed aged 50 to 69, 29 percent say they have surfed via 5G before. Across the age groups, more than every fourth man uses the 5G network more often, but only 17 percent of women./chd/DP/he