Many global operators have accelerated preparations for fifth-generation technology, with trials being carried out by 78 per cent of respondents in the “5G Readiness Survey 2017”, conducted by Swedish tech giant Ericsson.
Furthermore, 28 per cent of the respondents expect to deploy 5G next year.
The survey also shows that operators have further developed their business strategies for 5G services, and are now looking beyond the consumer segment and foresee opportunities in the enterprise and industrial segments as well.
Thomas Noren, head of 5G commercialisation at Ericsson, said: “In the 2016 survey, 90 per cent of the respondents pointed to consumers as the main segment in their 5G business planning. This year, it is an even split between three segments and operators have identified business opportunities not only in the consumer segment but also with enterprise users and specialised industries.”
According to the survey, operators are seeing that the consumer market is becoming saturated. As a result, 5G planning this year is more evenly distributed across specialised industry segments (58 per cent), business users (56 per cent) and consumers (52 per cent).
The top three industry sectors highlighted by respondents were media and entertainment, automotive and public transport, but many also ranked healthcare as well as energy and utilities among the most attractive sectors for 5G applications.
A clear majority of the respondents believe that the Internet of Things will play an important role and that third-party collaboration will be essential in this context.
In terms of 5G monetisation, survey respondents believe that additional revenue will be generated from increased market share, migration of 4G subscribers, higher prices for new services, and by expansion into new enterprise and industry segments.
The respondents – 50 executives in business and technical areas – were interviewed in July and work for 37 operators globally that have announced publicly that they are working on 5G.