Some 70 percent of UK businesses are already using or are planning to deploy 5G, new research has found, as industry figures find subscriptions for the new networking tech set to hit 1 billion this year.
Research from public-private industry body UK5G found that 45 percent of businesses were planning 5G investments by next year, in addition to those with existing deployments, in spite of barriers to adoption such as the complexity of the tech and the cost of infrastructure.
A study released by networking equipment maker Ericsson this week predicted worldwide 5G subscriptions would hit 1 billion this year, two years earlier than 4G, which took 10 years from launch to reach the milestone.
Echoing Ericsson’s study, which found a strong demand for mobile broadband driving 5G adoption, UK5G said the results indicated the “appetite” of UK businesses for the technology and an understanding of its benefits.
The research, carried out by Coleman Parkes in April, covered the creative, manufacturing, transport & logistics and health and social care sectors around the country.
Some 73 percent of respondents said they understood 5G’s benefits, with 70 percent saying they had a plan to use it to gain competitive advantage.
For instance, two-thirds said 5G would contribute to their sustainability efforts and 65 percent said they believed it would improve customer experience.
In addition to faster mobile broadband, 5G introduces new capabilities that are expected to make it easier to construct networks adapted to internet of things connected devices and autonomous driving.
Ericsson earlier this month reached a deal with BT to work on private 5G networks for sites such as factories and ports.
UK5G head Bob Driver said 5G networks could give organisations access to “new insights through data that enable them to improve the service they provide for customers”.
The body, founded by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport and led by Cambridge Wireless, KTN and TM Forum, acknowledged that 5G is at an early stage of adoption and noted that three in five businesses cited the complexity and cost of infrastructure as a barrier to adoption.
Nearly three in five (58 percent) said they would require further guidance on how to integrate the new networks with their existing infrastructure, while over half said they would see value in best practice guides to assist deployments.
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