Although skeptics have questioned whether there are any strong 5G uses cases for businesses, new research found substantial interest in 5G on the part of business decision-makers, 80% of whom see 5G creating new opportunities for their companies. The research was conducted by Verizon and Morning Consult and was based on a survey of 700 U.S. business technology decision-makers.
Evidence of the confidence that businesses have in 5G: Nearly half of survey respondents (48%) already have equipped employees with 5G devices or plan to do so within the next six months. And only 10% said the ability to make a clear business case was a barrier to adopting 5G.
The research also suggests that businesses are more knowledgeable about 5G than consumers are. Just over half (55%) of respondents said they have heard “a lot” about 5G in comparison with only 23% of consumers who gave that answer.
Importantly, 73% of decision-makers said they already know which 5G applications will be most beneficial to their companies.
5G Use Cases for Business
The most compelling 5G use cases for businesses vary by industry, the Verizon and Morning Consult research showed.
In the sports, entertainment and media industries, one important 5G use case is to use the technology to incorporate augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) experiences – a capability that 78% of respondents see having value. Another potential use case, seen as valuable by 66%, is to create virtual live events using AR and VR.
In the government and public sector, 5G use cases include using real-time video to monitor crowds to increase safety and enabling faster data transfers to and from first responders. Those applications were seen as valuable by 74% and 70%, respectively.
In health care, remote health monitoring, cited by 81% of respondents, was the most valuable 5G use case. In manufacturing, 88% said real-time supply chain tracking from shipment to shelves was valuable, making that the most valuable use case for the sector.
In retail, a valuable 5G use case, cited by 80% of respondents, was to give customers the ability to shop from anywhere using AR and VR.
When AT&T launched 5G two years ago, the company frequently stated that businesses would be the early adopters of the technology. Verizon also has focused closely on business customers, particularly for applications that could benefit from mobile edge computing (MEC) and from the company’s high-speed 5G Ultra Wideband service deployed in the millimeter wave spectrum band.
The new Verizon and Morning Consult research suggests that Verizon’s MEC investment may be a smart move. More than three quarters of respondents (76%) said MEC is important to their company.