Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and consulting firm, recently released its latest survey of 5G use cases and adoption. The results show that 66% of enterprises intend to deploy 5G by 2020. These companies expect 5G networks to be mainly used for Internet of Things (IoT) communications and video, and operational efficiency will be a key driver.
Sylvain Fabre, Senior Research Director of Gartner, said: "In terms of 5G adoption, end-user enterprise organizations have clear needs and expectations for 5G applications. However, a major problem faced by 5G users is that CSP has not been adequately prepared. These providers'5G networks are either not yet deployed, or they do not have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of enterprises.
To make full use of the potential of 5G, there must be a new network topology, including edge computing, core network slicing and radio network densification. Sylvain Fabre pointed out: "In the short to medium term, companies that want to use 5G for Internet of Things communications, video, control and automation, fixed wireless access and high-performance edge analysis are still unable to rely entirely on 5G public infrastructure to deliver content."
Main use cases of 5G
Internet of Things (IOT) communication is still the most popular target use case of 5G, and 59% of enterprises surveyed expect 5G network to be widely used in this field. Video was the second most popular use case, with 53% of the companies surveyed planning to apply 5G to it.
Sylvain Fabre said: "Given that there are other proven and cost-effective wireless Internet of Things connectivity alternatives, such as Narrowband IoT over 4G based on 4G and low-power wide-area solutions, the survey data on Internet of Things communications is surprising. But 5G has its own unique location and can provide high-density connections - up to a million sensors per square kilometer.
Sylvain Fabre also pointed out: "In addition, 5G is also applicable to other sub-categories of the Internet of Things that require very low latency characteristics. As far as video is concerned, there will be different use cases in the future. From video analysis to collaboration, 5G speed and low latency will be very suitable for supporting 4K and 8K HD video content.
5G deployment status
Gartner predicts that by 2022, half of those telecom service providers who complete commercial 5G deployment will be unable to profit from investments in backend technology infrastructure because the system cannot fully meet the needs of 5G use cases. Sylvain Fabre said: "Most telecommunications service providers will have to wait until 2025 to 2030 to implement a complete end-to-end 5G infrastructure on their public networks, because they first focus on 5G radio communications, then core network slicing and edge computing."
Fabre adds that the main reason for this is that the 5G public network plans of telecommunication service providers vary greatly in time planning and scope. Communication service providers will initially focus on consumer broadband services, which may lead to delays in investment in edge computing and core slices, but this investment is actually more relevant and valuable for 5G projects.
Gartner suggests that in order to meet the needs of enterprises, technology product managers must provide core slicing and edge computing infrastructure and services for private networks as well as 5G wireless antennas when planning 5G infrastructure solutions. For enterprises eager to deploy 5G, relying solely on communication service providers may not fully meet their short-term to medium-term needs.
Sylvain Fabre said: "For businesses that want to benefit from 5G functionality as soon as possible, private networks for businesses will be the most direct choice. Such networks can be provided by communication service providers or infrastructure vendors, not only by traditional large infrastructure vendors, but also by vendors with cloud and software backgrounds.