5G is a trending topic worldwide and not just an evolutionary upgrade of the previous generation of cellular. It has the potential to enable industries, and businesses to improve quality of life around the world through new applications for health, autonomous vehicles, mobile, smart cities, homes, and the IoT.
The most discussed topics are its usage possibilities, its benefits, but also the risks, and infrastructure concerns 5G may bring. One topic that is not very often mentioned and seems to lack attention, is how future generations like Gen Z feel about and may react to 5G.
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z is currently between 4-24 years old. Millennials are between 25-37 years old, and emerging as power players and leaders of today’s economy. Gen Z is also called the “always on” generation, as they don’t remember a time when wireless didn’t work.
5G and Gen Z
For Gen Z, smartphones are the new credit card, the new movie ticket, their gaming device, their television and more. Most check their phone more than 20 times a day. Besides, they couldn’t imagine a life without internet. Research showed that the promise of faster speeds appealed to many generations, but peeked among 18-24 year olds. 78% found it even very appealing. More importantly, Gen Z is not just consuming, but they are creating content as well (e.g. YouTube videos) Additionally, high quality & technology play an important role in their lives. This makes 5G extremely attractive for Gen Z.
Especially younger consumers said that the internet is indispensable for them. Besides, consumers under 40 (Millennials and Gen Z) are willing to pay more for Internet, despite earning less than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts.
5G and Gen Zer’s Concerns
Generation Z is less likely to trust companies, compared to older generations
Besides being a promoter of technology, Gen Z is also more health conscious and less likely to trust companies. Additionally, social responsibility plays an important role for them (even more than for Millennials). With the current concerns about infrastructural challenges and health risks, which are publicly addressed on social media, businesses and governments need to make sure they invest sufficiently in safety measures and education.
Gen Z will continue to shape how fast 5G is adopted and how older generations will use new technologies. Being more critical and environmentally conscious, companies must pay close attention to the way 5G is implemented on the market.