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5G study: 5 ways industries can make the most of 5G

Ericsson has asked 10 industries how they plan to leverage 5G in a global study covering 900 companies, with more than 1000 employees each. Five insights on focus, expectations, pain points, premium price potential and timing give us a view who might be first out.

Head of 5G Marketing North America

5G experience

Head of 5G Marketing North America

Head of 5G Marketing North America

5G is a clear industry focus, where many want to be first

Compared to the survey in 2016 we see a steep increase in focus, where achieving a first mover advantage is the strongest strategic driver. 73 percent of respondents see first-mover advantages as the most important strategic objective for 5G, followed by ‘being seen as an innovator’, ‘critical for digital transformation’ and ‘fundamental for IoT projects’. These four drivers sum up the strategic 5G drivers across the 10 industries.

The second area where increased focus is in play is around business drivers. The importance for the three main business drivers has increased by 10 percent each since 2016. ‘Faster time to market for new products and services’ remains number one, followed by ‘increased business efficiency’ and ‘reduced cost’.

75 percent expect industries and own organizations to leverage 5G

Respondents to our survey have a strong belief that their own industry will take advantage of 5G, with 78 percent expecting their industry to leverage 5G for both creating new offerings and for increasing efficiency.

74 percent and 73 percent respectively expect their own organization to leverage 5G to improve customer value and increase efficiency. It is encouraging to see 75 percent across such a broad spectrum of companies seeing the potential now.

Barriers to adoption fall in two categories

The largest barriers to adoption are ‘concern about data security and privacy’ and ‘lack of standards’. And among the top five barriers to entry we see a pattern of cross-industry or ecosystem concern. Barriers are expected to come down with focus in 2018.

In the next five barriers (number 6-10) we see a decrease for three out of five barriers since 2016. ‘Lack of use cases’ reduced by 9 percent, and ‘lack of mature ecosystem’ reduced by 8 percent. Finally, ‘Not yet fully exploited previous mobile generations’ reduced by 16 percent. The latter is clearly coupled by the increased interest we see from industries to use 4G where they can now and upgrade with 5G where they need once available.

Five values recognized with a clear premium service potential

Respondents point out five 5G attributes where there is a willingness to pay a premium, with the following all reaching beyond 50 percent in our survey:

  • 1Gbps downlink speed, moving far beyond the 12Mbps average today. Think gigabytes in seconds rather than megabytes per second.
  • 2ms latency, down from middle double digits today.
  • 3ft/1m precision accuracy, not just connecting devices, but knowing exactly where they are.
  • More than 10 years battery life, for remote or embedded sensors.
  • An on-demand virtual network with exactly the properties you need. A step beyond a universal ‘one slice for all’ model.

Timing is imminent

Consistent with the strong interest to leverage first-mover advantages is the pace at which industries will trial and launch 5G.

An average of 70 percent across the industries surveyed plan to be in production with their first commercial use case in 2021. And more than 50 percent plan to be in trails by 2019 to pave the road for commercial use cases in 2019.

This all indicates we will see an exciting 2019 where first-mover aspirations will be converted to first-mover advantages for the ones putting efforts behind their aspirations. And 2021 is not far away for commercial launch.

Next step

This blogpost was intended to give you a succinct summary of our findings. For further details, please read the full report in ‘Industries on 5G’, a unique Ericsson report based on primary research.

The 5G Business potential’ report provides an overview of the sizing of the 5G opportunity in each industry.

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