More than half of manufacturing companies, government organizations, and services firms surveyed by Gartner said they think the biggest benefit of deploying 5G will be to drive the Internet of Things (IoT).
This finding is surprising, according to Sylvain Fabre, research director at Gartner, because even once fully implemented, 5G will only be valuable for a narrow subset of IoT use cases, like those that require very high data rates and very low latency, he said.
Fabre added that this misconception about 5G may be because the majority of respondents (84 percent) also believe that 5G will be widely available by 2020, even though most service providers have said that they don’t believe 5G will be widely available before 2022.
Beyond IoT capabilities, many respondents (59 percent) said they thought the main purpose of 5G is that it will be a network evolution, and 37 percent said they thought it would be an enabler of digital business.
Willing to Pay
End users don’t appear to be cost conscious when it comes to 5G. Approximately 75 percent of those surveyed by Gartner said they would be willing to pay more for 5G capabilities. Of those 75 percent, 8 percent said they would pay 30 percent more than what they are currently paying for 4G services to get 5G; 14 percent said they would pay 20 percent to 30 percent more for 5G; 22 percent said they would pay 10 percent to 20 percent more for 5G; and 31 percent said they would pay up to 10 percent more for 5G services.
Gartner estimates that only 3 percent of mobile networks worldwide will have launched 5G by 2020. Fabre said that Gartner believes standards-compliant commercial 5G network equipment might be available by 2019, but that any 5G networks deployed before then will use pre-standard gear.
SK Telecom has said it will launch 5G commercially in the second half of 2019. AT&T has said it could deliver commercial 5G services by late 2018, and Verizon has said that if its 5G friendly user trials are successful it will deploy pre-standard fixed 5G service by the end of 2018.