A recent study by DE-CIX shows: AI ranks first among Germans, ahead of smart homes, e-health, smart cities and autonomous driving.
Frankfurt am Main, 17 May 2023. The topic of “artificial intelligence” (AI) has been the talk of the town, at the latest since the introduction of applications such as ChatGPT. But which digital applications do Germans see as having the greatest potential as a technology of the future? According to a representative survey* conducted by the Internet Exchange operator DE-CIX, around four out of ten (41 percent) of the Germans surveyed believe that AI will become established in the future. This is followed by smart home (40 percent), e-health (28 percent), smart city and autonomous driving (24 percent each). Only 14 percent see great future potential for virtual reality applications – such as the Metaverse.
Germans have recognized the current trends in the digital world and are aware of the challenges they bring: 59 percent of respondents say there needs be better roll-out of network infrastructure to meet future demands from new technologies. Consumers also want improved network coverage (46 percent), free Wi-Fi in public places (31 percent), and more bandwidth in existing networks (19 percent).
Responsibility for expansion lies with infrastructure providers
59 percent of Germans say they see infrastructure providers (e.g., data center operators, Internet Exchange operators, and network operators) as responsible for laying the foundations for the Internet of the future and modern applications. Only 38 percent expect this from politicians.
“We need to upgrade infrastructure and overcome existing silos to meet the demands of the digital future. Today’s Internet is not yet capable of meeting the demands of future technologies. To be able to implement these technologies on a broad scale, we need a new infrastructural basis and much more powerful ways of transmitting data. Computing power needs to be – and data must be processed – as close as possible to the user and smart devices,” says Ivo Ivanov, CEO and Chair of the Board of DE-CIX. “To create a seamless and authentic experience, digital infrastructure providers must build a dense, globally distributed, interconnected infrastructure, while offering a growing number of specialized and customized interconnection services. Every millisecond counts here to guarantee an excellent user experience. In the future, we will need alliances and cooperation between a wide variety of companies from the Internet industry and participants from the entire value chain. German consumers have also recognized this responsibility of infrastructure providers for network expansion.”
Germans' willingness to pay for improved connectivity
Half of Germans (51 percent) would like to see lower costs for Internet connections (mobile and fixed-line) in the future, but 20 percent of Germans would also be willing to pay more for better connectivity. Extrapolated to the entire adult population, this would mean that an additional 3.2 billion Euro per year would be available for infrastructure rollout. Among this 51 percent of users, however, expectations are also higher: 70 percent of this group believe that network rollout needs to be improved.
On behalf of DE-CIX, the public opinion research institute YouGov surveyed more than 2,000 adult Germans in an online poll between April 28 and May 2, 2023. The results were weighted and are representative for the German population (age 18+).