fiber buildingSixty-two percent of U.S.-based companies spanning nine industry verticals do not have plans to deploy next-generation 5G wireless/mobile broadband technology in coming years, according to new market research about enterprise 5G plans from ABI Research. The results, ABI says, indicate “severe discord” between industry expectations and high-profile public relations campaigns among wireless/mobile industry players and their business customers regarding the emerging 5G industry standard.

Nearly all of the 455 U.S.-based companies surveyed who said they did plan to deploy 5G technology and incorporate it in their business models reported they are in early stages of investigating the next-gen wireless/broadband network standard, ABI highlights.

“The hype of 5G is currently driven by the technology supply chain rather than by demand from the end-markets,” ABI vice president and managing director Malik Saadi elaborated.

Enterprise 5G Plans
Considering everything that ABI can see, all indications point to the consumer market, as opposed to large enterprise-scale corporations or industrial companies, leading in terms of 5G adoption, he continued. “As the 5G roadmap develops, it is now more imminent than ever for technology suppliers to engage with implementers – understand their requirements, educate them on the value of 5G, and help bring their specific use case needs to life.”

In addition, survey results reveal that retailers appear to be the most willing to adopt 5G technology. Half (51%) of retailer survey respondents said they are assessing or plan to deploy 5G technology in coming years.

According to ABI, this suggests that retailers in particular see potential benefits and have specific needs they believe 5G network products and services can fill. These may include high bandwidth-low latency 5G services, such as AR/VR (augmented/virtual reality) and robotics.

At the other end of the scale, use of 5G to support autonomous driving was the least popular use case across all verticals.

Virtual reality (VR) was the most popular 5G use case across all market segments: 89 percent of respondents who plan to deploy 5G in the coming years also said they plan to deploy VR. Robotics also scored high, but robotics continues to be largely ignored by 5G tech vendors given its complexities and regulatory and socioeconomic obstacles, ABI notes.

In sum: “5G technology suppliers are currently working in a vacuum, often denigrating the rights of technology implementers to influence the 5G development roadmap,” Saadi concludes. “The retail, healthcare, and federal government verticals show the highest willingness to deploy 5G technology in the coming years and, as such, need careful attention by 5G technology suppliers to ensure that their individual, varied use case needs will be properly addressed.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Nan Palmero.