Mass machine communication expected to be most impacted by 5G

Nearly all professionals are finding business cases for 5G, an Infosys report found.

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With 5G expected to reach half of the world's population by 2024, businesses are preparing themselves for the onslaught of 5G networking, an Infosys report found. The majority (90%) of respondents said they are actively investigating business use cases for 5G in their organizations, establishing use cases with ecosystem partners and outlining service portfolios. 

On Tuesday, in conjunction with Mobile World Congress (MWC) Los Angeles, Infosys released its State of 5G—The Road Ahead. Taking into account responses from 850 senior executives worldwide, half of which are primary IT users, the report determined how 5G will impact the enterprise and what organizations are doing to prepare for the tech. 

SEE: Special report: How 5G will transform business (ZDNet) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)

While 5G will have a bevy of use cases for business, the most transformative use cases in the US will be in mass machine communications (50%), ultra-reliable and low latency services (48%), and enhanced mobile or cellular broadband (41%), the report found.

"5G is being heralded as a major driver of innovation due to three characteristics—low latency (ultra-reliable connectivity enabling real-time experiences), massive machine communication (smart connected devices) and increased bandwidth (ability to stream large volumes of digital content)," said Nitesh Bansal, senior vice president of Infosys. "5G has huge transformational potential across industries with its services-based, cloud-native architecture and higher-frequency bands that enable a greater amount of data to be transmitted in real time."

As for the top benefits, US respondents cited connected cars (62%), connected secure homes (42%), emergency services (42%), smart buildings (41%), and translation or linguistic services (41%). Mobile office (35%) was further down on the list, which is surprising considering how popular remote work has become

When analyzing potential business use cases, respondents cited the top considerations as pricing/cost (61%), effectiveness of the use case proposed (59%), and new customers and revenue streams (57%).

Top barriers to 5G

Most organizations are searching for 5G use cases, indicating excitement surrounding the technology; however, some significant barriers may get in the way, both for consumers and providers, the report found. 

Consumers said their top concerns about 5G include data security (59%), government regulations (52%), training and hiring (51%), and lack of technology maturity (51%). Supplier concerns differ slightly, with data security (62%), device readiness (57%), and investment (55%), and lack of technology maturity (53%), as their top worries. 

To overcome these barriers on the supply side, suppliers said relationships with certain partners are crucial. Respondents cited support from network service providers (23%), system integrators (18%), and standards body (18%) as the most necessary. 

On the demand side, businesses said support from standard forums (49%), software providers (46%), and network service providers (44%) are the most important for overcoming 5G barriers. 

While establishing these critical connections, businesses can also prepare for the 5G revolution by setting new business and IT goals, making network infrastructure revisions, preparing for a digital avalanche, and bracing for security threats, ZDNet contributing writer Mary Shacklett reported. 

Prospective barriers should not stop organizations from finding 5G use cases, Bansal said. "If you're not already prototyping 5G use cases and looking at ways you can take advantage of 5G, get started immediately. Many major companies are deep into their 5G testing and prototyping and are prepping 5G-powered offerings to the market. Jump in now," he said. "There's still time to get started understanding 5G but don't hesitate or you'll risk being left behind by your competition."

For more, check out How North America is leading the 5G revolution on TechRepublic. 

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