Accenture: Executives blind to disruptive nature of 5G

08 Mar 2019

Accenture says business and technology executives underestimate the disruptive potential of 5G technology. Fifty-three percent of respondents in a global survey of 1,800 executives in 10 countries believe there are “very few” things that 5G will enable them to do that they cannot already do with 4G networks. Only 37% expect 5G to bring a “revolutionary” shift in speed and capacity.

Competitive advantage

5G is believed to have important competitive implications. Up to 60% of surveyed executives believe 5G will cover nearly all the population by the year 2022, and 70% believe that 5G applications will give them a competitive edge with customers. Speed will be a key advantage according to 46% of respondents while 42% cite its capacity.

Accenture’s 2019 findings on the disruptive prospects of 5G technology

“The reality is that 5G will bring a major wave of connectivity that opens new dimensions for innovation and commercial and economic development,” said George Nazi, Accenture’s Network practice global lead. “Breakthroughs in three-dimensional video, immersive television, autonomous cars, and smart-city infrastructure will unleash opportunities that are difficult to imagine today but will soon be transformative. Telecommunications companies will play a pivotal role in bringing these prospects to light.”

Role of carriers

Up to 72% of executives said they need help to imagine future possibilities and use cases of 5G. These see telcos as just the right partner on their 5G journeys, cited by 40% of respondents. Hampering this partnership is the recognition by 60% of respondents who cite telcos' lack of industry knowledge as a key challenge.

Other barriers include the need for upfront investment (36%), security (32%) and employee buy-in (29%). While 78% of executives believe that using 5G in the workplace will make their business more secure, 32% have concerns about the security of the new connectivity standard.

Anders Lindblad, Accenture’s Communications & Media industry lead for Europe, said, “Despite the knowledge gap, there is excitement among business leaders about the value that 5G can bring to enterprises. This value is currently trapped within the perceived risks and uncertainty around 5G, which can be unlocked by organizations that understand customer needs, can overcome barriers to adoption and can drive collaboration among service providers.”

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