5G is set to transform enterprise and business models in the coming years by providing opportunities for enhanced connectivity that drives growth across industries and economies. The 5G network brings with it greater transmission speeds, lower latency, amplified capacity for remote execution, an increase in the number of devices that can connect as well as enhanced network splicing opportunities. This is set to improve and enhance business efficiency, productivity, customer experience and change business models. Below we deep dive into the 5G landscape, benefits and challenges set to impact enterprise as we know it.
5G landscape and trends
5G is the fifth generation of mobile wireless communications technology and has been a popular topic of discussion in recent years. 5G is the evolution of 4G LTE networks and has been designed to accommodate the substantial growth of the amount of data and connectivity needed in today’s modern world. We are beginning to see this new generation network amplify as more and more countries globally have started the implementation process.
How much of an impact will it have? The answer lies in the stats. According to GSMA, By 2025 5G is estimated to account for 20% of global connections. This growth opportunity has led many operators across the globe to support the shift towards 5G and invest around $1.1 trillion in mobile CAPEX between 2020 and 2025, with 80% of this investment going towards 5G networks. 5G is also set to have a significant impact on IoT. IoT connections are projected to more than double between 2019 and 2025 reaching almost 25 billion. Global IoT revenue will also more than triple to $1.1 trillion. We are already starting to see this in over 24 markets across the globe, including North America, Asia, and Europe where 5G smartphones have been launched and where the creation of smart cities is a top priority.
The promise and shift towards 5G bring an immense opportunity for the enterprise to enhance productivity and profitability, this has led to many trends coming to the forefront:
Enterprises are utilizing AI and IoT solutions more
Businesses are using AI, IoT solutions, and 5G capabilities to digitize operations and production processes. These businesses are making use of robots and robotics, remote real-time management and monitoring solutions, labour augmentation, and analytics to enhance overall business efficiency and productivity. We are seeing this trend span across multiple industries including manufacturing, telecommunications, power generation, aerospace.
Adapting to new business models
New technology like 5G, brings with it opportunities to expand on current service offerings and provide value-added services that speak to customers changing needs and wants. In order to do this, businesses need to adapt and change their business models. In the telecommunications sector, 5G provides a gateway to create and innovate service and product offerings. Telcos will need to evolve their networks to meet the needs of the 5G era and to generate new revenue streams. Operators need to focus on the future and tap into mobile network innovations that include virtual RAN, edge networking, and network automation to grow the sector.
IoT leading the way for 5G
IoT and 5G will work for hand in hand to enhance business productivity and profitability. This powerful combination enables the creation of new business processes and models, reduces costs, enhances efficiency, drives innovation, and visibility within a business. IoT specifically is being used to address and solve problems in the business space as it allows for the collection, processing, and integration of data from many sources and the application of 5G makes this process a hundred times faster. This data can then be used to provide actionable insights that positively impact business operations and processes. With an estimated 13.3 billion enterprise IoT connections expected over the next five years, the combination of IoT and 5G will change business as we know it.
From the above, it is clear that over the next few years 5G is set to impact businesses significantly, especially where IoT is concerned. We examine the benefits associated with this below.
Benefits of 5G for business
5G offers several benefits to business, which is primarily a result of the low latency, enhanced capacity, increased bandwidth, and faster speed capabilities of this network. These elements allow for real-time monitoring and control, more devices to be connected to the network as well as high download and upload speeds. Each of these elements benefits business in different ways, which include:
- Facilitates big data analytics – 5G allows for faster and better big data processing. 5G increases the volume and speed at which data is collected and processed. This will enable businesses to access analytics related to customer patterns, operations, products, and services as well as allow a company to gain actionable insights, identify problems or issues and create solutions based on up to date and relevant data.
- Transforms customer experience – the needs and demands of customers are changing, and businesses need to keep up with this. Customers are looking for an experience, fast feedback, and are wanting to connect with businesses. 5G enables this through automation, IoT applications, the creation of self-service solutions, real-time responses, and feedback. Each of these elements positively impacts the customer experience and will help reduce customer churn.
- Automation and AI capabilities – 5G facilitates the digitization and automation of many different business operations, procedures, and processes. This automation, use of AI, and real-time monitoring allows businesses to enhance productivity, efficiency, save on costs, and ultimately increase profitability.
- Enhanced connectivity and workforce mobility – 5G provides enhanced speed and reliability of internet connections. This allows employees to work and connect from anywhere in the world at any time. Employees will be able to access cloud computing, IoT applications, share data, and gain access faster using this network which allows for effective remote working and enhanced productivity.
- Networks tailored to your business – network slicing will enable businesses to access highly customized networks tailored to their requirements in a cost-effective, timely, and efficient way which can be governed by a service level agreement. This allows for the development of industry-specific networks that speak to the needs and requirements of those specific sectors.
There is no doubt that 5G brings with it a world of opportunity for businesses, but this does not come without its own set of challenges. Many businesses are often slow to adapt to new technology, which is fuelled by fear of the unknown and the belief that the technology they are already using, like 4G, is working well enough. The cost of 5G infrastructure and devices is also an issue that businesses are going to need to navigate in order to take full advantage of the benefits of 5G.
5G is here and is expected to change the world and business as we know it. This next-generation network brings with it a significant opportunity to amplify business models and operations to enhance productivity and efficiency. By its very nature, 5G offers faster and more reliable connectivity that has the ability to impact customer experience and big data processing, facilitate workforce mobility and automation and play an essential role in IoT applications. Each of these elements, if implemented and executed correctly, could positively impact business profitability. 5G migration for business is not without its challenges, but we expect these challenges to be met with solutions as the technology develops and as more countries and businesses start to utilise the full potential of 5G.
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As the Global Head of Marketing and Business Development with 20 years of experience, Agnieszka’s expertise lies in the practical implementation of digital and traditional marketing strategies for B2C and B2B companies. Through her long-term, client-focused, strategic approach, and branding experience, she continues to develop innovative marketing plans that yield significant results. Now working in the SaaS industry, she oversees a multitude of solutions within the telecommunications industry including Customer Experience & Self-service, VAS, NextGen, IoT, FinTech, and Advanced Analytics.