opinion


What Is the enterprise case for 5G?

Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Francesca Greane, Marketing, Content and Community Lead for The 5G Series, discusses the the enterprise case for 5G.   

Over the past quarter of a century, mobile technology has transformed the way we communicate, the way we access information, the way we work – in so many respects, the way we live our lives. Now, as we enter a new decade, the next generation of connectivity is set to also fundamentally change the way we do business.

Fifth generation mobile technology – 5G – promises to deliver a step change in connectivity; not just mobile connectivity, but connectivity full stop. 5G will be so much faster, bigger and more reliant than its predecessors, that it is pretty much re-writing the rule book on connectivity from scratch. For the first time, cellular is expected to be stable and reliable enough to offer a viable alternative to wired internet connections.

Coupled with a massive increase in bandwidth, this new-found flexibility will usher in an order of magnitude increase in the number and types of devices we can connect. With the potential of the Internet of Things finally unleashed, incredibly high connection speeds and near-zero latency will lay the foundations for countless futuristic technologies. Analysts around the world expect the vertical markets to get the most value from 5G. Yes, consumers will no doubt enjoy being able to stream ultra HD video from anywhere, play VR video games on the move and even connect every device in their homes via a single 5G subscription.

But the bigger opportunity lies in how 5G is expected to drive the next phase of digital transformation in the vertical industries. According to a Qualcomm report, by 2035 5G could underpin $12.3 trillion worth of goods and services worldwide, representing a value chain worth $3.5 trillion which supports up to 22 million jobs. Yet, we remain right at the very start of this journey, with the first commercial 5G networks only just emerging. For enterprises, this is an awkward time. Clearly no one wants to miss out on the opportunity, but to date nothing is proven and plenty of questions remain unanswered.

So, the question remains; when is the best time to start thinking seriously about 5G business models and investing in building products, services and processes for the 5G era? What will the costs involved be, and how can businesses optimise their returns?

The 5G Series has recently published a new report, in which we attempt to answer these questions and more, outlining the nature of the 5G opportunity for enterprises, the timeframes, the most likely use cases and the key benefits, whilst also summarising some of the key barriers potentially holding back progress.

We have been lucky enough to discuss these issues with experts from a wide range of verticals, with first-hands interviews from the likes of:

  • Maxime Flament, CTO at 5GAA
  • Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • Sam Shah, Global Digital Health Advisor and Clinical Director at The Ivory Clinic (NHS)
  • Martin Jackson, Head of IT Strategy & Architecture at Northumbria Water
  • Eric Brown, CTO at Energy Systems Catapult
  • Alan Tilles, Telecom, Data Privacy & Entertainment Attorney at Shulman Rogers

Taking these interviews and combining them with analysis from industry leaders Omdia, this paper outlines:

  • The nature of the 5G opportunity for enterprises
  • The time frames
  • The most likely use cases
  • The key benefits of employing 5G
  • Some of the key barriers holding back progress in various industries today

You can download the full report for free by clicking here.

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