Research: US execs look to 5G economic boost

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Findings from Verizon Business’s Verizon 5G Business Report show that US technology decision-makers overwhelmingly agree 5G high-speed communications networks and devices will create new growth opportunities and applications for their companies and industries within the next two years.

“Over the last year, 5G has become top-of-mind for businesses as they manage through condensed digital transformation timelines,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Today’s findings underscore the critical role 5G will play in economic recovery and growth, and we stand committed and ready to help our partners make that transition quickly and seamlessly.”

In terms of use cases, 73 per cent of decision-makers polled also said they already know which 5G applications will be most beneficial to their enterprises, and seven in 10 believe that 5G technologies will help them accelerate their companies’ recovery from issues posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Approximately 80 per cent of decision-makers agreed that 5G would provide new growth opportunities for their companies. While upfront costs of 5G ranked as the highest barrier to adoption (41 per cent), an inability to make a clear business case (10 per cent) ranked among the lowest barriers, highlighting the high confidence among business executives regarding the power of 5G.

Businesses driving adoption

Data from a 5G consumer study conducted in December 2020 shows that businesses are ahead of consumers in driving 5G adoption.

Key Stats:

Businesses are more aware of 5G than consumers, and they prioritise it

  • Most business decision-makers say they have heard “a lot” about 5G (55 per cent) versus 1 in 5 adults when asked the same question (23 per cent)

5G adoption is well underway across businesses

  • Almost half (48 per cent) of decision-makers say their company has already provided or is planning to provide a 5G-capable smartphone or device to employees within the next six months
  • 76 per cent of respondents say that mobile edge computing (MEC) is important to their company
  • Decision-makers largely agree that 5G will create new opportunities for their company (80 per cent), their industry (79 per cent), and their role (79 per cent).

A transformative impact

Among industries, a variety of distinct use cases emerge as well as nuances to drive 5G adoption.

Sports, Entertainment and Media

Key Stats:

  • In rethinking the live event experience, 78 per cent indicated that leveraging 5G to incorporate augmented and virtual reality experiences would be of value
  • Similarly, 66 per cent saw making virtual live events through AR and VR like the in-person experience as a valuable use case of 5G
  • More than half of technology decision-makers in the industry (52 per cent) indicated that 5G planning and adoption is a top priority for C-level leaders at their organisation

Government/Public Sector

Key Stats:

  • 74 per cent saw real-time video to monitor crowds and increase safety as a valuable impact of 5G
  • 70 per cent viewed faster data transfers to and from first responders as they get to and from emergency sites as a benefit of 5G
  • 36 per cent felt that 5G would have a transformational impact on cybersecurity

Healthcare

Key Stats:

  • More than three in four technology decision-makers in healthcare said 5G will change how their organisation interacts with customers (78 per cent)
  • Decision-makers in healthcare view use of remote health monitoring devices (81 per cent) as the most valuable application of 5G in their industry, while use of mobile networks for high-quality telemedicine is viewed as the application that respondents believe their organisation is most likely to implement, interact with, or respond to in the next two years (78 per cent).
  • Operational efficiency (75 per cent) was named as the area in which 5G will have the most noticeable impact for respondents’ organisations

Manufacturing

Key Stats:

  • Supporting system automation ranked highest amongst all industries and specific use cases for 5G deployment (49 per cent) by manufacturing respondents
  • Real-time supply chain tracking from shipment to shelves to respond to inventory demands and help combat theft and fraud ranked highest in terms of sector specific benefits (88 per cent) and tied with real-time tracking of capacity and production in terms of likelihood of being deployed in next two years (82 per cent)

Retail

Key Stats:

  • 77 per cent of retail respondents indicated that businesses that do not adopt 5G technology will fall behind their peers
  • 80 per cent felt that giving customers the ability to shop from anywhere using AR and VR via 5G would be a valuable use case
  • Enhancing wireless Internet speed and reliability (60 per cent) was named the top priority for usage of 5G

The survey, which was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult, polled 700 business technology decision-makers across the United States to gauge interest in deploying 5G and specific use cases within the Sports/Entertainment/Media, Government/Public Sector, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Retail industries.

 


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