Survey Shows Most Companies are Not Ready to Deploy 5G Technologies

A recent report published by ABI Research found a severe disconnect between the 5G market hype and the commercial industry's readiness to deploy the technology. ABI Research conducted a survey of 455 U.S. based companies to determine if and how they plan to use/deploy 5G. Nearly all respondents who plan to one day incorporate 5G technology into their business models cited that they are in the early investigation phase. Over 62% of respondents do not plan to deploy 5G technology in the coming years.

According to the report, the hype of 5G is currently driven by the technology supply chain rather than by demand from the end-markets. All indicators lead them to believe that 5G will take hold in the consumer market before it claims its stake in the enterprise and industrial sectors. As the 5G roadmap develops, it is now more important 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.

The survey findings indicate that the retail vertical shows the most aggressive outlook in its willingness to adopt 5G technology. With 51% of retail respondents assessing or planning to deploy 5G in the coming years, this suggests that this vertical has a specific need for 5G to support bandwidth-hungry and low latency use cases, including AR, VR, and robotic applications. At the other end of the spectrum, autonomous driving ranks as the least popular 5G use case across all verticals.

Virtual reality (VR) ranks as the most popular use case for 5G across all market segments, with 89% of respondents who plan to deploy 5G in the coming years also planning to deploy VR. Robotics also ranks high in use case popularity but remains largely ignored by 5G vendors due to technology complexities and several regulatory and socioeconomic challenges facing this industry.

5G technology suppliers are currently working in a vacuum, often denigrating the rights of technology implementers to influence the 5G development roadmap. 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.

These findings are from ABI Research's Industry Survey: Transformative Technology Adoption and Attitudes – 5G report.