London, UK, DD MM 2022: A survey of 300 businesses carried out by UK5G, the national innovation network dedicated to accelerating the adoption of 5G in the UK, has surprisingly found that 70% are now using 5G or planning deployments. While barriers to adoption still exist, with cost of infrastructure emerging as the biggest to overcome, businesses are looking to build a commercial case for 5G that fully realises its benefits.
Almost three quarters (73%) of the businesses surveyed were confident that they understood the benefits of 5G, while 70% have a plan for how they will use it to achieve competitive advantage. This is evidence of the maturation of 5G innovation driven by a growing understanding of the outcomes the technology offers. For example, two thirds (66%) believe 5G will make a positive contribution to their corporate sustainability efforts as well as help improve customer experience (65%).
Bob Driver, Head of UK5G, said: “5G, along with other forms of advanced communications, has the potential to transform business models, generate new revenue streams by unleashing the Internet of Things, and give organisations new insights through data that enable them to improve the service they provide for customers. This encouraging research shows the appetite of business in sectors such as the creatives industries, transport and logistics, manufacturing and health and social care, to embrace the opportunities 5G can bring. ”
While 5G is approaching the stage of early market adoption in the UK, there are still challenges that are preventing businesses from investing or maximising its potential. Over three in five (63%) businesses cited the complexity and cost of infrastructure, installation and integration as the main challenge to overcome. As well as the cost of deployment, there is still an issue with organisations not fully understanding how to deploy 5G solutions, which over half (53%) say is an inhibitor.
Despite these challenges, 45% of businesses are planning to make investments in 5G by 2023. Aligned to this, business leaders demonstrated an active curiosity in the best practices which will pave the way for a successful deployment. Almost two thirds (66%) said industry-specific benefits of 5G would incentivise them to invest. However, by their own admission technology leaders need education. Almost three in five (58%) require further guidance on how to integrate 5G with existing infrastructure, while over half (51%) would see value in best practice guides to assist with their deployment.
Generally, business leaders understand the value of innovation networks such as UK5G as they seek greater understanding of the potential benefits 5G can bring their organisations (58%), as well as practical advice on how to plan their deployments (53%). Organisations also want to see further insight being shared by the technology and telecoms industry, with 46% saying they will turn to big tech and 40% looking to mobile network operators (MNOs) to improve their grasp on how to deploy 5G in a way that is commercially viable.
Driver added: “The UK has an established ecosystem of support for businesses looking to deploy 5G in a way that brings them competitive advantage and return on investment. UK5G brings together a host of expertise across the technology and telecoms industries and works with a broad spectrum of organisations to help them navigate 5G and support them in overcoming the hurdles to deployment.”