Anticipating the impact and opportunities of 5G networks on business

Huawei Hub Editor Huawei Hub Editor

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The near arrival of 5G networks is expected to create huge opportunities to build enterprise value across a variety of industries. Forward-looking organisations are already anticipating the impact of this technology. Forbes with Huawei created a global survey to gain more insights in this crucial development.

Australian business leaders know that mobile and wireless are critical to business operations, but there is concern that their needs are outpacing existing access networks. In order to succeed in the age of digital disruption, executives say their companies will require revolutionary increases in the speed, capacity and connectivity of mobile devices— and they’re looking to 5G networks to provide it.

Despite the name, 5G isn’t simply the next generation of existing 4G mobile networks. 5G wireless networks will support throughput of 10 gigabits per second per individual user; end-to-end latency as little as 1 millisecond; and connections for as many as a million devices per square kilometer, or 100 billion devices worldwide. 5G is not just an upgrade, but rather the new infrastructure of a connected, intelligent world.

5G networks will drive economic and societal growth in unprecedented ways, and contribute to the creation of new products, services and businesses. A global survey was created by Huawei and Forbes to discover what executives think 5G will impact their businesses.

Capability gap
More than one-third of all executives say that their current systems already can’t support the evolving needs of their business, including more than half (55 per cent) of executives at organisations with revenues in excess of $10 billion. Asia Pacific is the most concerned region, with 38 per cent of all executives agree they’ve outgrown their networks, followed closely by Europe (36 per cent) and North America (34 per cent).

Need for education
Overall, more than a third (36 per cent) of all executives surveyed say they know “very little” or “nothing” about the technologies and issues around 5G wireless; 38 per cent say they “understand the fundamentals,” and only 27 per cent say they are “very familiar.” Leaders in the technology industry are much better informed than their colleagues in other verticals, but in an increasingly digital age, the need to understand 5G network capabilities will be paramount.

Preparing or disruption
Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of all companies say they are “extensively” exploring or planning how they might use 5G, while 15 per cent say they are not planning at all. The companies sitting on the sidelines tend to be smaller and earn less revenue: 28 per cent of executives at companies with revenues below $500 million say they aren’t making plans – five times as many as the 3 per cent of executives who aren’t planning for 5G at $10 billion-plus organisations.

Benefits of 5G
More than 80 per cent of all executives believe that 5G technologies will have positive effects on multiple areas of their business in areas such as customer experience, service/ product quality and worker productivity.

5G is on its way and it will help make the Australian business landscape super-connected and super-intelligent, disrupting not only existing business models but entire industries. Even though it’s not due to arrive in Australia until 2020, businesses need to start taking steps now to prepare for the opportunities and challenges.

Read the full report here.

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