Last year was full of tech milestones, but perhaps the most important was the launch of the first-ever 5G networks—critical infrastructure that will allow us to fully unlock the potential of other emerging technologies like AI, IoT, and telemedicine.
Industry leaders have long touted 5G’s promise, imagining all the ways that next-generation networks could fundamentally transform healthcare, logistics, and everyday living. And consumers are buzzing, enjoyingaugmented/virtual realityand enhanced entertainment experiences. But while we’ve heard a lot about how revolutionary 5G could be, enterprise has yawned, adoption has been sluggish, and reality has yet to catch up with the rhetoric.
It’s no wonder that enterprise leaders have been reluctant to pursue 5G. Network deployment is still limited, the device ecosystem remains nascent, and the initial 5G use cases are far from riveting. Save for using 5G as “wireless fiber” for last-mile broadband access, few generate immediate and obvious ROI.
But here’s the reality: the enterprise landscape is changing rapidly, and businesses will need to invest in 5G today to fully capitalize on the opportunities of tomorrow.In 2020,expect to see three main trends driving enterprise interestin 5G: widespread automation, interest in network customization, and the increasing role of enterprise mobility.
Driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution with 5G This year, automated and autonomous technology will continue to proliferate as machine learning rapidly improves. We’ll see the effects across industries and geographies—from precision agriculture in the heartland, to fleets of autonomous vehicles on the streets, to smart factories that are safer and more efficient than those of generations past. But autonomous machines can’t function in a vacuum. They require sensors, cameras, and other sources of data that help them understand and respond to the environment around them—and they need a high-capacity network to transmit all that data.