Irish consumers back availability of 5G – survey

Third of adults said they would use delivery drones if they were available

The majority of Irish consumers back the widespread availability of 5G in Ireland by 2025, a new study has revealed.

According to a study carried out for Huawei Ireland by Amárach Research, 80 per cent of Irish consumers said it is “extremely important” for Irish society that the next generation of mobile networks is rolled out in the next few years. Huawei is involved in the production of equipment for use in 5G networks.

The report on 5G examined the understanding and expectations of 5G, and how it would impact and improve their daily and working lives.


Some 61 per cent said they expected 5G to enable new technologies as well as improving existing and emerging technology, while more than 76 per cent said their lives had been improved by technology, with only 3 per cent saying it has had negative impacts.

Among the applications for 5G that consumers thought would play an important role in the future of the country were smart energy grids, smart homes , smart cities and real-time translations.

A third of Irish adults said they would use delivery drones if they were availableAlmost 40 per cent said they would use autonomous stores, where they enter with a smartphone app and do not have to check out in the traditional way.

Amazon has a number of stores in the US that offer such services, with customers using an app to scan in at the door and a series of cameras tracking the items they put in their basket. Closer to home, Tesco is currently trialling drone deliveries for small basket items in Orranmore, Galway.

“76% of Irish adults agree technology has had a positive impact on their lives, and “The evidence points to the Irish public having high expectations of the possibilities the roll-out of 5G technology will bring to their lives at home and at work,” said Gerard O’Neill, chairman of Amárach Research said What seemed futuristic a few years ago, such as driverless cars and delivery drones, are now within reach through new digital infrastructure and 5G.”

The coronavirus pandemic has also cast a spotlight on emerging services such as telehealth, with 58 per cent of adults thinking the sector would be important to society over the next five years.


Some 70 per cent said it could cut waiting times for medical consultations and treatments, and more than three quarters said it could potentially improve access to medical servcies in more rural areas.

The new technology could also drive e-learning, with 55 per cent of Irish people saying the innovations would improve the education and training sector. More than half said they would be more likely to undertake further education if e-learning was more widely available.

"The findings point to an exciting 5G future, one that will not only benefit all of our daily lives, but will also enable Ireland to grow in the years ahead," said Tony Yangxu, chief executive of Huawei Ireland.

“5G represents a range of limitless potential and possibilities for consumers. Huawei is rolling out 5G across the globe, and is fully committed to being part of the roll out of 5G across Ireland, helping to create a world-leading digital infrastructure.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist