Industrial companies pin their transformation hopes on 5G

By Sarah Wray 7 June 2019

5G report

Industrial companies view 5G as a key enabler for their digital transformation and they’re willing to pay more for it, according to new research from Capgemini.

When asked which technology they see as being most integral over the next five years, three-quarters of 800 industrial companies surveyed listed 5G. 5G was second only to cloud computing but ranked ahead of advanced automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Will 5G fix it?

Business leaders said they expect 5G to address the connectivity challenges they face today – 44% said connectivity issues are limiting digital transformation. They’re also looking to 5G to enable brand new use cases in the future, Capgemini said.

Executives cite guaranteed quality of service (67 per cent), enhanced security (65 per cent), ultra-reliability and low latency (62 per cent), massive machine type communications (60 per cent) and enhanced mobile broadband speed and increased capacity 59 per cent) as the 5G capabilities they’re most excited about.

Key 5G-enabled benefits that the industrial sector is eyeing include more secure operations (cited by 54 per cent) and cost efficiencies (52 per cent). Companies said they’re also interested in gaining advantages from applications such as real-time edge analytics, video surveillance and remote operations through AI and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).

Will pay, won’t wait

With this confidence in 5G in mind, 65 per cent of those surveyed said they hope to implement 5G within two years of it becoming available. Others have a little less patience -- in Italy, France and Canada, over a quarter plan to start using 5G within a year.

Further, industrial customers are willing to pay more for enhanced 5G services – 72 per cent said they would pay more for faster mobile broadband speed and greater capacity.

This suggests telcos risk underselling themselves –  54 per cent of 150 telecom executives surveyed for the same research said they didn’t think there was an appetite for premium charges.

One in three industrial companies surveyed said they plan to apply for a private 5G licence and almost half of large companies are interested in the idea, driven by a desire for strategic control, security oversight and quick roll-out.

About Sarah Wray

Technical Writer at 5G.co.uk

Sarah Wray is a technical writer with over 10 years' experience writing about technology, including telecoms, smart cities, data, IoT, aerospace, and more.

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