A recent survey commissioned by Compare the Market asked over 2,000 UK residents to answer “true”, “false” or “don’t know” to several myths surrounding 5G.
The roll-out of the 5G service in the UK has been a popular story within the media, and like with most new technologies, it’s not been without its share of conspiracy theories. In fact, at the beginning of the year, 77 phone masts were attacked due to the circulating myths around the new connection method.
As 5G continues to roll out across the UK, the results of the survey show just how many UK residents believe in these myths, and which cities most agree with the statements surrounding the new technology. This includes whether participants believe theories such as whether 5G is connected to the spread of Coronavirus, if 5G is being used as a spy for surveillance, and more.
While 23% are unsure, 7% of the UK population believe 5G is connected to the spread of Coronavirus – that’s equivalent to more than a whopping 4million people! 13% of 25-34-year olds believe this to be true – that’s the highest percentage than any other age group, followed by 10% of those aged 16-24 who also agree they are connected. Belfast has the biggest percentage of residents who also deem this to be true (12%), followed by Bristol (11%) and London (9%).
More than one fifth of men (21%) believe 5G is being used as a spy for surveillance. And while 17% of the whole of the UK think this is true, another 44% answered “don’t know”. Similarly, more than a fifth of 35-44-year olds and 21% of Brighton residents agree with this statement, more than anyone else across the UK.
Almost 30% of 16-24 year olds believe trees are being cut down due to 5G – that’s the highest percentage among the age groups, and is followed by 27% of those aged between 35 and 44. Overall, 21% of the UK believe this to be true and it’s Belfast’s residents that agree with this more than any other city (28%), followed by Bristol (27%) and Glasgow (25%).
Nearly one fifth (18%) of Bristol residents say they believe that “5G is making the human population stupid”. The city is closely followed by Belfast (16%) and Leeds (15%), while the national average here sits at 12%. 16-24-year olds are the age group that believes this the most with 17% agreeing to the myth.
More than one in ten (11%) say they believe that 5G radiation lowers human immune defences with Bristol residents buying into this theory the most (18%). A further 10% think 5G causes cancer, brain tumours or infertility, and it’s Belfast that has the highest percentage of respondents (18%) who agree with the latter statement the most.
Not all of the statements in the survey were false – Compare the Market also quizzed respondents on statements that are true to see if they believed them. Nearly two fifths of men (38%) correctly believe that self-driving cars will use 5G to talk to other cars, sensors, streetlamps and gas stations. However, only 18% of women say they think this is true – that’s half the percentage of men. While 27% of the UK population did guess this correctly, over a third (35%) of Belfast’s residents believe this to be true, followed by Birmingham (31%) and Bristol (30%) – all above average. It was the 35-44-year olds that were clued up on this more than any other age group with 30% admitting they believed this statement.
|The statement||What the public think||The verdict||The truth|
|5G is connected to the spread of the coronavirus||40% of Gen Z can’t be sure that 5G isn’t connected to the spread of Coronavirus.
23% of the general population stated that they didn’t know if this was a true or false statement.
|FALSE ->||There is no evidence that 5G is connected to COVID-19, nor harmful to people’s health.
Viruses can’t travel on radio waves or mobile networks, and coronavirus is also spreading in many countries that don’t have 5G mobile networks.
|5G will enable remote surgery, so a surgeon may not need to be in the same room as the patient||Just 14% of the population know that 5G will enable remote surgery.
But over 25% of residents in Greater London already believe this to be true.
|TRUE ->||Thanks to the extremely low latency of 5G, surgeons will indeed be able to carry out remote surgery.|
|Trees are being cut down due to 5G||When asked if they believed that trees are being cut down due to 5G, just 25% of people aged 45-54 answered this as false.
22% of the population believe this statement to be true.
While trees can interfere with mobile signal, the positioning of current trees is considered when planning telephone installations.
There is no evidence to suggest that trees are being cut down to improve 5G connectivity.
|Self-driving cars will use 5G to talk to other cars, sensors and streetlamps.||Only 29% of Brits know that self-driving cars will use 5G to talk to other cars, sensors and streetlamps.
But over 55% said they did not know. Great London and Manchester are the most clued up.
The speed and connectivity of 5G will indeed allow cars to “talk” to each other, helping them to avoid accidents.
This same connectivity could also allow cars to “talk” to streetlamps, allowing them to be switched off if there are no cars on a specific road, for example.
What else can 5G be used for?
To find out more about 5G visit: https://www.comparethemarket.com/mobile-phones/content/what-is-5g/