Increasing demands for connectivity and communication are paving the way for private 5G, a cloud-era wireless technology designed for the enterprise and highly adaptable to change. Many organizations are already implementing or considering private 5G because the company can better control the network and data. On top of that, private 5G allows businesses to control and customize their security settings, policies, and other aspects of wireless communications. So many assets that stimulate the popularity of these new generation private networks.
A new study, recently published by Economist Impact in association with the operator NTT, reveals that more than half of global companies plan to implement a private 5G network within the next 6 to 24 months. The survey was conducted among 216 senior IT decision makers from organizations with revenues between $250 million and more than $1 billion, in industries including automotive and manufacturing, energy, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, and logistics.
According to this study, organizations are widely adopting next-generation communication and connectivity technologies, including private 5G. 94% of respondents are rolling out upgrades that include Wi-Fi 6, 4G, or 5G. Nearly a quarter (24%) are testing private 5G networks, while 6% have at least one operational private 5G network.
Energy and transport to the head
Interest in private 5G is particularly high in industrial settings, to support use cases in robotics and autonomous driving. Energy (39%) and transportation (33%) are the two sectors most likely to pilot 5G networks. Carriers (41%) are the most likely to have built a private 5G network.
In the automotive and manufacturing sectors, 25% of companies said they have a private 5G pilot and 5% have a working network. In the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, 18% of companies are testing a private 5G network and 5% have a working network.
The attractiveness of 5G for these sectors of activity is justified by the need for network reliability that is felt there. The slightest hiccup in the wireless network can spell disaster, which is why these verticals have historically steered away from Wi-Fi, which can be unstable at times.
Safety, a key factor
Not surprisingly, security is a key driver for enterprise adoption of 5G. 69% of respondents said network security is not addressed in their current communication and connectivity platforms, making it a top concern for organizations across countries and industries. For 75% of healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations, security is the top issue, given the sensitive nature of the data. Other pain points cited by respondents include data control (48%), coverage and speed (43%), and response time from their current service provider (40%).
Security is the reason most organizations are exploring alternatives to Wi-Fi. 87% of respondents believe that Wi-Fi networks do not provide a sufficient level of security for business. The majority (86%) of respondents believe that private 5G can replace Wi-Fi, highlighting the benefits of private 5G networks in terms of security and data protection. Other benefits of deploying private 5G cited by respondents include improved data privacy (83%), faster connection speeds with lower latency (81%), and increased network reliability for connectivity and communications ( 80%).
Although the adoption of private 5G appears to be accelerating, it is still in its infancy for most organizations. The implementation of private 5G is in the short or medium term plans of organizations that have not yet tested or implemented such networks. Globally, only 3% of companies plan to deploy private 5G within six months, while 15% plan to do so within 12 months and 19% within 18 months.
Leading Managed Service Providers
Setting up a private 5G infrastructure comes with some technical challenges that the companies shared in the study. For 44% of respondents, integrating 5G into existing systems and networks is a major barrier. The complexity of the infrastructure required to implement 5G (37%) and the lack of technical skills of employees to manage 5G networks (30%) are the other obstacles to the adoption of private 5G.
For this reason, many organizations prefer to outsource their private 5G deployments. 38% of them choose to entrust their deployment to a managed service provider, with service level agreements; At the same time, a third of organizations prefer to adopt a shared or hybrid private network approach, in which they lease the network from a mobile operator. When it comes to engaging with private 5G providers, organizations are most likely to request system integration services (63%), post-deployment network management (62%), as well as network design and planning (54%). ).
The results of the study show that the adoption of private 5G networks is strongly supported by top leaders around the world. In the future, 94% of respondents agree that 5G will become an important part of their operations. More than 90% expect private 5G to become a standard in their industry in the next five years, a vision shared by all industries. It will also be the catalyst for the company’s digital transformation.
It’s important to understand where 5G stands relative to Wi-Fi. Some industry watchers have predicted that 5G will kill off Wi-Fi, but that’s definitely not the case. I think these two technologies are very complementary, as Wi-Fi is still the wireless standard of choice for general use cases, while 5G is used when reliable and guaranteed connectivity is needed. As proof, this Deloitte study shows that 98% of companies will use both technologies within three years.
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