Nearly 66 per cent of companies globally plan to install 5G by 2020, while Internet of Things (IoT) will remain the principle use of the faster, more efficient technology, according to US researcher Gartner.
“In terms of 5G adoption, end-user organisations have clear demands and expectations for use cases,” said Sylvain Fabre, senior research director at Gartner.
IoT communications remain the most popular target use case for 5G, with 59 per cent of the organisations surveyed expecting 5G-capable networks to be widely used for this purpose.
The next most popular use case is video, which was chosen by 53 per cent of the respondents polled.
Fifth generation, or 5G, is expected to support faster mobile broadband speeds and heavier data use than previous generations of internet, enabling IoT to achieve its full potential. The network can be used for autonomous cars, in smart cities and industrial internet, making it the linchpin of the future of communications systems.
Telecommunications operators in the UAE stand to gain an additional $3.3 billion (Dh12.1bn) in revenues by 2026 from the digitalisation of industries through 5G, Swedish technology company Ericsson said in a report released in September last year.
However, one major issue that 5G users are facing is the lack of readiness of communications service providers (CSPs). Some of the networks are either unavailable, or are incapable when it comes to adopting 5G, Mr Fabre said.
In the short to medium-term, organisations planning to use 5G for IoT communications, video, control and automation, fixed wireless access and high-performance analytics, are unable to fully rely on 5G public infrastructure for delivery, Mr Fabre added.
Gartner polled 85 of its research circle members – including companies and individuals spread globally – and 100 external companies for the survey.
By 2025, 5G will account for 16 per cent of total connections in the Middle East and North Africa markets, says Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), a trade body that represents the interests of global mobile networks.
"5G needs more innovative solutions or government support to make it commercially viable, especially in areas that lack coverage," said John Giusti, chief regulatory officer of GSMA.
Gartner predicts that by 2022, half of the CSPs that have completed commercial 5G installations will fail to monetise their back-end technology infrastructure investments, due to systems failing to meet 5G use-case requirements.
Mr Fabre added that this is because 5G public network plans of providers vary significantly in timing and scope.