While the majority of business execs are counting on 5G to turbo charge the speeds and capacity of their mobile networks, some are surprisingly still in the dark.
According to a Forbes Insight survey, in association with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , 36% of the senior executives who were polled said they knew "very little" or "nothing" about the technologies and issues around 5G. Out of the more than 1,000 executives that were polled, 38% said they understood the fundamentals while just 27% claimed to be "very familiar."
While 5G standards body 3GPP probably won't complete the first phase of standards until 2018, several service providers, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), are preparing for trials. (See Top Execs Talk 5G With Telco Transformation.)
The rollout of 5G networks over the next five to ten years will create new opportunities to build enterprise value in a range of industries, with a big impact across business operations, profit and loss economics, asset valuations and revenue models, according to the survey.
Executives in Europe were better informed than their colleagues around the globe; only 24% said they knew little or nothing about 5G compared to 40% in North America and 42% in Asia Pacific.
While 5G will be a game changer for speed, connectivity and capacity across mobile devices, executives at just 26% of the companies said they were exploring how they would use it while 15% responded they weren't making any plans.
More than 80% of all executives believed that 5G technologies would have positive effects on multiple areas of their business, including customer experience, service/product quality and worker productivity.
While 5G networks are still several years out, more than one-third of the executives said that their current systems could not support the evolving needs of their business, including more than half of the executives at organizations with revenues in excess of $10 billion.
The technology gap is most pressing in the Asia/Pacific region, where 38% of all executives said they had outgrown their networks, followed by Europe (36%) and North America (34%).
For network requirements, 67% of the executives responded that they needed mobile networks with ultra-high throughput. Nearly as many said they required a massive number of connections (64%), or ultra-low latency (59%).
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation