By: Alan Zeichick
Six out of ten medium and large enterprises are already undertaking a strategic review of 5G wireless, according to a new survey about the coming high-speed cellular communication standard. And given their sunny outlook on 5G, it’s easy to see why they’re making plans: More than 80% of the 265 key decision-makers surveyed believe 5G will increase employee productivity, reduce costs, enhance the customer experience, and improve business agility.
On the income side of the business, 82% of respondents to the “5G Smart Ecosystems Are Transforming the Enterprise: Are You Ready?” survey believe these faster networks will play a role in launching new services, and 80% say that 5G can generate new revenue streams. The report, commissioned by Oracle Communications, spans 11 countries.
5G wireless, which is in trial deployments by wireless carriers in the US and the rest of the world, promises much greater performance than 4G LTE cellular data networks. That means faster speed, almost imperceptible latency, lower power consumption (thus longer battery life), and potentially, better network reliability.
Use of new 5G networks means more than connecting end-users such as employees or customers using high-speed wireless. Sure, a lot of 5G will connect devices like personal cell phones, tablets, or laptop/notebooks, and that should help the employee and customer experience when using internet-connected apps. However, there are many other uses, such as for connecting purpose-built, Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These could be consumer IoT devices such as connected thermostats or home security systems, or Industrial IoT devices, letting companies monitor equipment performance in manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and many other industries.
Indeed, 85% of IT respondents to the new study expect to connect purpose-specific mobile devices via 5G by 2021. Similarly, 84% will use 5G for real-time asset or process monitoring, 81% to connect autonomous vehicles, 78% for environmental monitoring, 75% for tactile or remote control of equipment, and 74% for industrial automation.
Business leaders are cautious, though, given that 5G isn’t widely deployed yet. Among respondents, 56% report that 5G is too early in its development to really begin making firm business plans, and the same number, 56%, are concerned that 5G will be too costly to implement in the near term. That said, about three-quarters of the IT respondents to the new study expect they’ll be able to begin deploying 5G-based systems by 2021.
Bottom line, though, 5G looks to be a force for business leaders to reckon with. Fully 84% of respondents say that 5G networks will be transformative—and will have a lasting impact on the way their companies do business. And 68% feel that new 5G-enabled services will prove transformative to their customers.