With 5G looming over the horizon, it is just a matter of time before it becomes inevitable. Currently, most telecom operators have started evaluating the merits of 5G; enterprises need to have a clear plan to harness the benefits of the new operating bandwidth. While much of the discussion around 5G has centered on consumer devices, enterprises are looking toward the tremendous impact the technology can have on their ability to serve customers and the bottom line. Not only are most companies aware of the benefits of 5G, but they are already strategically planning their roadmap on adoption of 5G. This will fuel enterprises’ business outlook, be it with the traditional voice and data through enabling technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), etc., giving rise to use cases across industry verticals. New business models and intermediaries are emerging in the 5G value chain to cater to the need for connectivity, and for providing differentiated services to niche market segments as well as customers.
5G networks are expected to not only enable telcos to meet user demand for high-speed data network, but also support rich content type, such as 4K/8K videos, AR/VR, allowing telcos to counter the threat of OTT players who have impacted telco revenues negatively in the past decade. Telecom service providers are forging partnerships with players across the value chain to develop content and relevant offerings. 5G is also likely to strengthen the suite of enterprise services for telcos by providing a more agile and efficient network, with the ability to meet varied demand/on-demand requirements through network slicing, virtualization, software-defined networking, mobile edge computing, and cloud.
Born in the cloud, 5G will have the ability to enable enterprises to provision or slice core pieces of their networks to power mission-critical new offerings and smart ecosystems. This can range from anything to providing the highest-speed connections for life-saving emergency services; to enabling autonomous vehicles to communicate with each other quickly; and to ensuring IoT devices in smart factories are providing real-time information on the health of machines and assets.
Wireless networks, such as 5G will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the enterprise in the long term, while fixed networks will remain a necessity due to both bandwidth and security reasons. Having greater flexibility to scale networks up in regards to throughput size and speeds as well as scale down to support low power, narrowband is a key requirement for enterprises looking to efficiently deploy a wide variety of enterprise mobile and IOT use cases at scale across multiple operators and multiple locations around the world.
This new wave of enterprise applications creates far more complexity in the network as the demand profile of service fragments. In this new landscape, carriers have a more extensive opportunity to apply their network monitoring – and other – capabilities to assure services and monetize 5G effectively. Enterprises will be happy to enable the monetization of 5G because the networks will be providing a new level of value to them that goes beyond simply providing connectivity. Operations will be influenced by advancing the automation of business management, networks and IT operations, and also network transformation, which will help build ultra-high-speed secure networks for various applications.
In a recent survey conducted by Oracle Communications, respondents believe 5G will have a wide-spread impact across their businesses, including increasing employee productivity (86 %), reducing costs (84 %), enhancing customer experience (83 %), and improving agility (83 %). Business decision makers are most focused on quality of experience the technology will bring, while IT is concerned with network speed and resiliency.