Enterprises may demand 5G faster than telcos can supply

02 Jan 2019

Two thirds of large organizations surveyed by Gartner have plans to deploy 5G by 2020, but operators may struggle to meet enterprise demand in time, the research firm said.

The survey conducted earlier this year among members of Gartner's Research Circle found that enterprises have ambitious initial plans for 5G, mainly focused around IoT communications and video.

Some 59% of organizations surveyed expect 5G-capable networks to be widely used by IoT communications, with video representing the next most popular use case (53%).

“In terms of 5G adoption, end-user organizations have clear demands and expectations for 5G use cases,” Gartner senior research director Sylvain Fabre said.

“However, one major issue that 5G users face is the lack of readiness of communications service providers (CSPs). Their 5G networks are not available or capable enough for the needs of organizations.”

He said Gartner predicts that by 2022, half of operators that have completed commercial 5G deployments will fail to monetize their back-end technology infrastructure investments, due to systems not fully meeting 5G use case requirements.

“Most CSPs will only achieve a complete end-to-end 5G infrastructure on their public networks during the 2025-to-2030 time frame — as they focus on 5G radio first, then core slicing and edge computing,” Fabre said.

Due to the likelihood that operators alone cannot fully satisfy the short-to-mid term demands of early 5G adopter organizations, private networks for enterprises may be needed to plug the shortfalls.

“These networks may be offered not only by CSPs but also directly by infrastructure vendors — and not just by the traditional large vendors of infrastructure, but also by suppliers with cloud and software backgrounds,” Fabre said.

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