A new study by Infosys confirms that 5G demand is extremely strong across a variety of industries and geographies.  However, enterprises face a number of common challenges that present potential speed bumps on the path to 5G.

First, the good news from the Infosys Knowledge Institute, which surveyed 850 senior executives across 12 industries in the US, Europe/the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It shows that 90% of survey respondents are eager to take advantage of the low latency, high reliability, and faster throughput which 5G technology will enable.

5G demand spans all verticals. There is early 5G activity being seen in consumer retail and logistics as well as energy and utilities.  Nearly 60% of respondents identify cost and effectiveness as the primary criteria for adoption. In addition 57% are looking to 5G to build new revenue streams.  More than half expect 5G to disrupt marketplaces and improve their brands.

Unfortunately, enterprises also flagged a host of challenges to be addressed:

  • 59% of respondents identified ‘data security’ as a key barrier.
  • 57% believe their companies lack the right skill sets internally to embrace 5G’s potential.
  • 57% identify a lack of devices thus far.

5G demand will bring post implementation challenges

Enterprises also point to a number of post-5G implementation challenges. These include how to define a roadmap for implementing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies and how to maintain 5G technology.  While enterprises are looking for IoT deployments using 5G’s massive scalability, half believe this will require a significant internal transformation.

In truth, while enterprises express a variety of 5G deployment goals, the technology is still nascent. Networks are not ready to support many of the uses envisioned.  For example, ultra-low latency required to support many mission-critical applications, and massive scalability to support high-volume IoT applications, will not be possible for at least three years.  Thus, while enterprises are concerned about how to deploy 5G, they have some time to work out the answers. Figuring out the ‘when’ is the first question to answer before getting to the ‘how.’

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