back to article Electro-smog, govt snooping be damned. Two thirds of folks polled worldwide would trade in their mobes for 5G kit

Poll results published today suggest 68 per cent of smartphone owners around the world would be willing to trade in their handset for a 5G-capable model. 5G represents a seismic shift for the mobile industry, if you believe the marketing hype. Low latency and breakneck speeds, when or if available, mean it'll be possible for …

  1. Snake Silver badge


    probably thousands of tons of electronic refuse in landfills to make these companies more 5G-generated profit

    Do we hear the sound of "We have stepped up our recycling technologies, synchronous to our great 5G push, in order to assure the least impact possible when handling the expected consumer upgrade cycle"?

    No? Then it's just another smokescreen of taking money from the bottom - starting with the low paid tech assembly workers, up through the consumer sold on New and Shiny, and all the way through to the beaches of third-world Asia and Africa where the stuff eventually ends up in the dump - to those who already have enough.

    Yes, yes, cynical and "capitalism!", and all that. But since I am indeed frolicking in my cynicism right now (and playing Devil's advocate sometimes is fun!!) you can't deny that there's more than a grain of truth there. And no, I don't need 5G: I'm almost always on Wi-Fi, with 1GB being my usual monthly cellular usage.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: So...

      I read it as mostly, people will replace their phone with a 5G model when the time comes to replace it anyway. For the most part, I don't think they will be throwing away a working phone to get 5G.

      1. Is It Me

        Re: So...

        My reading is that they will be trading in their existing handset, so it will be refurbed and flogged on again.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: So...

          Which is nice for those of us who don't want to pay much for a phone, don't mind a refurbished one, and don't give a shit about 5G. The grey market will probably also be flooded with cheap remaindered 4G carrier-branded units, which (IME) generally come already unlocked.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I don't know about the rest of the world but American carriers are raising the price of 5G plans regardless of their coverage. Plus many carriers use high band 5G signals which severely limit a 5G node's coverage. Plus the current high end 5G Qualcomm modem doesn't support 4G necessitating a separate chip and antenna. Plus switching back and forth from 5G and 4G as you lose the 5G signal eats battery.

    Wait and see seems like the only rational choice.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Costs

      Personally, I think the only rational choice is "ignore 5G forever". I'll have a 5G phone when nothing else is available.

  3. Boo Radley

    Not Me

    I'm very happy with my old 4G Samsung Note 4. I do wish I still got updates though. I already have my next phone, another Note 4.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cue the stories about 5G signals causing brain cancer...

    Admit it, you know these are coming!

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Cue the stories about 5G signals causing brain cancer...

      5G along with chemtrails of smart dust cause Covid-19 (apparently)....

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Cue the stories about 5G signals causing brain cancer...

      I had a leaflet through my door this morning warning me of the dangers of 5G. It didn't list the dangers I was worried about though so I dropped it in the recycling. Had they mentioned being run over by a self driving car, or smart IOT kit trying to spy on me I might have taken a bit more interest.

  5. iLurker

    Marketing 101 bungle...

    ...advertising what's coming next will tank your sales of the current product, immediately.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5G..."Once the telcos have enough masts up"

    But not just the masts......will the telcos be upgrading the capacity of the wired connections which support the new masts???


    If not, who says the improved WIRELESS bandwidth of 5G will actually translate into a similar gain in POINT-TO-POINT bandwidth?


    Other potential downsides include more precise triangulation of a customer's location (because of the higher density of masts). Cui bono????

    * 2G burner phone is fine for actual phone calls and the occasional text message......likely for a few more years. thanks!!!

  7. Danny 5


    Why? I'm mostly on WiFi, but 4G is more than good enough for the vast majority of online activities. I have no intention of switching anytime soon, I just don't see the need. 2/3rd, really? I honestly find that hard to believe. for just a little speed gain, a gain the majority of users will not even notice, 2/3rd is willing to switch asap?


    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Really?

      It's a survey commissioned by a data wiping firm, trying to drum up business. I wouldn't read too much into it.

      Otherwise, ditto. I can get wifi at home, at work, and in the pub, I'm not even sure why I need 4G.

      1. Glen 1

        Re: Really?

        Adequate 4G coverage is better than crappy WiFi.

        I mean, how old do you think the kit is in a lot of those places. G wifi? For how many devices? With what connection behind it?

        Quite rare to find N/AC in public places unless it's part of a larger complex.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Really?

        I think the only times when I ever even care about 4G is if I'm out somewhere and having trouble finding my destination. Then online navigation is handy. But I lived for many years without it, and I could certainly do so again; I could use offline maps, or paper maps, or call the place I'm trying to find to ask for directions. I really only use online navigation because it's there, and that rarely.

  8. kipwoo

    Data Caps

    All well and good advertising breakneck speeds and promising movies on the go and mobile gaming, but it'll all grind to a disappointing halt very quickly when you reach the inevitable data allowance.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have one question, though..

    I know how power usage goes up with speed, which is why I often force my phone to stay at 3G - I don't surf on it and 3G is plenty for email. The result is a battery that sometimes even lasts a day.

    5G is yet faster again than 4G, which means it is likely to want again more power to work. Has anyone comes across a means to get this power use under control other than avoiding 5G?

    (and I suspect my motivation for 3G may have already illustrated that I won't be part of the herde that upgrades as soon as it's available :) ).

  10. Glen 1

    The thing is you have two different kinds of commenters here.

    You have people who live in places where coverage is so crappy that cell data is too unreliable and expensive to be useful. In those cases, what's the point of 5G? In many cases, a 3G connection would be enough if it was *reliable*

    Then you have people who live in places where data is just *there* and not even thought about unless there is a problem... Which could be quite rarely.

    Eg I pay £25 a month for unlimited minutes and texts with 20GB of data. I often find myself tethering my laptop to my phone because between the captive portal sign up shinanagens, and the crappy WiFi signal strength, not to mention inconsistent reliability when I'm just sat at a table... it's just more convenient to tether when I'm not at home.

    There is a reason that many people's primary internet device is their phone.

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