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Industries’ expectations for 5G

Extract from the Ericsson Mobility Report, January 2019

5G will make an impact far beyond the consumer-based mobile broadband market.

Approximately 100 senior decision-makers from large companies globally across 10 key industries were interviewed.1 They were selected for their focus on their company’s 5G activities. Each respondent was presented with 12 to 15 use cases specific to their industry and was asked to pick the top 4 most important and pressing business-focused cases.

When asked which capabilities they thought will be critical to their business in the future, we uncovered interesting similarities. For example, the manufacturing, public transport, retail and agriculture industries all highlighted the ability to receive input from a large network of low-cost sensors, as well as the ability to accurately control remote equipment with no delay, to be important. Furthermore, across all sectors the respondents indicated that 5G technology will improve issues that center around data security, connectivity and process automation.

While companies are increasingly aware of how they will exploit advanced cellular technologies across their organizations, they still have a way to go to meet the challenges inherent in implementing new technology.

Based on the wide range of use cases over the 10 industries as outlined in the figure, 5G will make an impact far beyond the consumer-based mobile broadband market. While the consumer is well represented even here – in the media and entertainment, retail and financial services industries – the impact of 5G will be much deeper as more industry use cases are implemented.

Most important use cases according to industry decision-makers

Energy and utilities

  • Connect and monitor remote sites, such as wind farms
  • Distributed energy resource management
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and smart meters
  • Integration sensors in micro grid and distributed generation

Public safety

  • Quickly transfer more data and higher resolution imagery to/from first responders
  • Multi-angle high resolution video streaming with smart analytics and alerts
  • Real-time smart video surveillance
  • Visor/helmet computer with augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR)

Manufacturing

  • Large network of sensors for predictive maintenance of machines/robots on the factory floor
  • Cloud robotics (processing in the cloud for smaller, cheaper robots that can be centrally controlled and untethered in any environment)
  • Identification and tracking of goods in the end-to-end value chain
  • Remote quality inspection/diagnostics with high-resolution/3D video or haptic feedback, thermal and other sensors

Healthcare

  • Real-time mobile delivery of rich medical data sets
  • Cloud robotics (processing in the cloud for smaller, cheaper robots that can be centrally controlled) for assisted living or rehabilitation
  • Ambulance drones
  • Smart objects, such as syringes, cabinets and beds

Media and entertainment

  • Broadband to the home through high-density gigabit wireless fixed internet
  • High-quality streaming to mobile devices
  • Live personal 3D broadcast from mobile services
  • 4K streaming to mobile devices

Automotive

  • Better customer experience during the sales process, such as a mobile app with 4K, 360-degree images of vehicles
  • VR/AR to assist or train service technicians
  • Infotainment
  • AR dashboards

Agriculture

  • Autonomous vehicles performing tasks in the field, such as harvesting
  • Predictive maintenance for farming equipment based on analysis of data from sensors
  • In-field AR support for e-learning and expert advice in remote areas
  • Optimize agriculture logistics chains with sensors, tracking and analytics

Public transport

  • High-speed internet access on public transport 
  • Connected traffic cloud – aggregates and analyzes real-time data from connected vehicles, infrastructure and devices to assist operational decision making
  • Real-time high-resolution vehicle video surveillance
  • AR way-finding applications

Financial services

  • Next-generation user-based insurance (sensors in connected cars, for example)
  • High-security cloud-based services
  • Real-time mobile trading
  • Secure, remote sessions with financial advisors

Retail

  • AR/VR shopping from anywhere
  • AR/VR to visualize a product in a specific setting
  • In-store AR-enabled customer care, with access to graphic-rich product information
  • Automated warehouses