How leaders across industries see 5G helping their businesses

Verizon's 5G Business Report found that everyone's excited about 5G, but the reasons behind the buzz differ between industries.

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A report from Verizon on business leaders' opinions of 5G finds that 5G adoption is well underway across industries, but the reasons for excitement and the ways in which businesses plan to deploy 5G tech vary greatly. The report surveyed 700 business tech decision-makers, and found that 55% had heard, read, or seen a lot about 5G, and 80% believe it will create new opportunities for their companies. The belief in 5G benefits for business extends to believing that 5G will benefit their individual industries and roles, with 79% saying they agreed with both statements.

There was some split between IT leaders and C-level executives on whether 5G is a top priority: 54% of IT leaders said it was, while only 39% of the C-suite agreed. Another large difference appeared between business leaders and the general public: As mentioned above, 55% of business tech decision-makers said they had heard a lot about 5G, while only 23% of US adults said the same. This could indicate a knowledge gap that drags 5G progress down, or otherwise slows customer adoption of the new technology. Regardless, business leaders seem eager to incorporate 5G into their organizations, both internally and externally. 

SEE: 5G: What it means for edge computing (ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

The report breaks businesses down into five categories: Sports, entertainment, and media; government and the public sector, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. 5G applications for each industry vary, and survey responses did as well. 

In the entertainment, sports, and media industries, most of the excitement comes from the sheer amount of bandwidth that 5G will be able to deliver. Eighty-four percent of respondents said they believed 5G would eliminate "miles of cables and wiring," and the same amount said they were excited by high-bandwidth connections allowing for multiple broadcast or video streams. Those numbers were paired with the likelihood of adoption, with 80% saying they were likely to use 5G to eliminate wiring and 74% planning to take advantage of increased bandwidth to increase streaming capabilities.

The public sector sees 5G value in real-time video surveillance and public safety programs. Seventy-four percent said they see that technology as valuable, though only 58% said they were likely to roll that sort of technology out in the next two years. Public sector decision-makers were also excited by the prospect of increasing data transfer speeds to emergency services to reduce response time and smart city sensor networks to improve water availability, air quality, and energy-efficiency monitoring.

In the healthcare world, remote health monitoring technology leads as the most valuable tech, with 81% saying they find its potential valuable. Seventy-five percent said they're planning to implement such technology. Other healthcare uses include using 5G mobile networks for telemedicine visits, real-time medical image sharing, and real-time wearable devices.

SEE: Future of 5G: Projections, rollouts, use cases, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Manufacturers were most excited by real-time supply chain tracking, with 88% intrigued by the prospect and 82% saying they were likely to employ such technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) designed to support worker safety also ranked high, with 83% saying it would be valuable, and 74% planning to implement it in the next two years.

Retail was most interested in real-time data processing that would "maximize efficiency from point of sale to product delivery," with 82% planning to use similar programs, and the ability to analyze foot traffic to dynamically plan displays to maximize product positioning efficiency. Augmented reality (AR) shopping also proved high on the interest list with 75% saying they planned to use augmented reality apps, and 73% saying they were likely to use AR for product visualization.

In summing up the report Verrizon Business CEO Tami Erwin said the data points to 5G being seen as a serious transformative element. "Over the last year, 5G has become top-of-mind for businesses as they manage through condensed digital transformation timelines. These 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," Erwin said.

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