Carriers, vendors make big promises about 5G, but new study by TEKsolutions finds most enterprises not
enthusaistic about high-speed wireless networks
Telecom carriers and networking vendors are racing to build out 5G networks around the world to facilitate the next wave of mobility and Internet of Things. Providers of 5G services have many technical, supply chain, and deployment challenges. Perhaps the biggest — and unspoken — challenge is that businesses aren’t ready for high-speed wireless services.
The Lowdown: A new study by professional service provider TEKsolutions finds that the majority of enterprises are ill-prepared for the 5G revolution. The survey of more than 300 IT and line-of-business managers finds that most enterprises are cautiously approaching 5G opportunities due to a lack of clarity into the business outcome, talent, and staffing issues, and integration challenges with legacy infrastructure.
The Details: The TEKsolutions study found that 43 percent of enterprise IT and line-of-business managers believe 5G networks represent a moderate to significant business opportunity. Another 46 percent see a slight opportunity coming from the availability of 5G networks. However, 44 percent of line-of-business managers and 70 percent of enterprise IT managers have no plans to adopt 5G-enabled systems in the next 24 months.
Of enterprises preparing for 5G availability, only 12 percent of line-of-business managers and 4 percent of IT managers say they’re in the selection and implementation phase of upgrade and adoption projects. Another 28 percent of line-of-business managers and 17 percent of IT managers are in the planning and design phase of 5G projects.
Most of the TEKsolution survey participants believe 5G networks and their related technologies are an evolution of existing infrastructure. Only 25 percent believe 5G is a new business model enabler, and 10 percent see the new network standard as a revenue enabler.
The top challenges to enterprise 5G adoption are compatibility with outdated enterprise applications and infrastructure, measuring business impact and justifying investments, and refreshing hardware and endpoint devices.
The Impact: Whether it’s a lack of ability, budget, or confidence, the dampened attitude toward 5G networking among enterprises is problematic for the IT and telecommunications industries. At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week, networking vendors and telecom carriers rolled out new 5G products and made promises of accelerating infrastructure development to meet the anticipated demand for 100GB wireless speeds. The lack of enthusiasm over 5G could slow down the development of networks and their related technologies.
The Buzz: “5G offers the promise of a technology that can support cutting-edge capabilities, empowering organizations to deliver innovation to their customers in new and exciting ways. Transformation is inevitable. It’s not a question of whether organizations will get there — it’s when,” said TEKsolutions Executive Director Chris Fisher. “To arrive first, they need to initiate smarter, more epic strategies to gain speed, reliability, and accessibility. But in terms of current product offerings and services, the added value of 5G is likely minimal today. Companies need to think about their specific needs and identify use cases to achieve their vision in a 5G world. Successful 5G implementations will hinge on strong partnerships and vendor/partner ecosystems.”