COVID-19 delays 5G for enterprise use cases till 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a delay in the standardization work that would make 5G available for enterprise use cases.
Orange 5G network serviceSelf-driving cars, IoT connectivity, smart cities, among others, are some of the enterprise 5G use cases.

The relevant standardization body, 3GPP, has announced a deferral of this standardization until at least June 2020, which would delay commercial rollout of industrial 5G until at least 2022.

Given that most industrial enterprises are looking to upgrade their communication technology in 2021, this delay will result in 5G missing out on at least 25 percent of the revenue opportunities within industrial enterprises. This translates into 5G losing up to 10 percent of total 5G revenues, according to ABI Research.

“This is a blow to the standards bodies and the timeline of 5G,” says Leo Gergs, principal analyst at ABI Research. “The cancellation of leading industry events, such as Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, caused more complicated workflows for the 3GPP.”

Enterprise verticals will consider 5G for automating workflows in factories and other industrial environments in order to keep supply chain disruptions at a minimum.

“We will also see 5G applications for life-critical verticals, such as agriculture/food production, to pick up pace, while a growing number of countries will consider enhancing their healthcare sector with 5G-enabled capabilities,” Leo Gergs said.

Strategy Analytics, in its recent research report, said leading telecom infrastructure vendors –Huawei , Ericsson and Nokia – made more significant contributions to 5G standards than other studied companies.

“Huawei leads in terms of overall contributions to the end-to-end 5G standards, while Ericsson leads in TSG/WG chairmanship and Nokia in approved/agreed ratio of 5G contribution papers,” Sue Rudd, director Networks and Service Platforms service at Strategy Analytics, said.

Reuters reported that Ericsson in 2018 said it is betting that new business models enabled by 5G technology could drive an increase of up to 36 percent in telecom industry services on top of current businesses.

Operator revenue from these businesses are likely to grow only 1.5 percent per year through 2026, reaching $1.74 trillion, half of which would come from mobile phone services and the rest from fixed-line and broadband.

New 5G-enabled businesses could drive up to $619 billion in incremental industry revenue by 2026, Christian Hedelin, head of strategy at Ericsson’s networks business, said.

Telenor is trialing 5G applications in fish farms in Norway; to help drivers find free parking spaces more quickly; and to enable remote monitoring of people with health conditions without them having to visit the hospital.

Telenor also runs a smart headquarters for a Norwegian bank. Telenor CEO Sigve Brekke says that 5G-powered sensors make it possible to clean the toilets after a certain number of visits, and not at set intervals.