Edior’s note: Chris Antlitz is a Principal Analyst at Technology Business Research.
HAMPTON, N.H. – The environment after COVID-19 will prompt enterprises and governments to take a hard look at how they can apply new technologies such as 5G to mitigate operational and safety risks.
Leading enterprises in the U.S., Germany, Finland, South Korea and Japan will drive the first wave of private 5G network investment through 2021, giving way to broader adoption beginning in 2022 as key 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards are finalized, devices become available and the technology matures.
The governments of these countries will also be key initial investors in 5G for civilian, first responder and, in the case of the U.S. and South Korea, military purposes. The Chinese government will also invest in private 5G networks.
PRELIMINARY PRIVATE 5G DEPLOYMENTS ARE MOSTLY EXPLORATORY IN NATURE
Private 5G network spend in 2020 is primarily for exploratory purposes. The ecosystem is experimenting with different use cases, business models and value chain structures in a bid to test the technology and prove the business case as well as to formulate a plan on how best to go to market and which solutions to focus on commercializing.
One key feature of this exploration is ecosystem participants innovating in their own environments, such as RAN [radio access networks] vendors applying their own 5G solutions in their factories and industrial companies coinnovating with their partners on pilots. This will help parse out reference cases that can prove the business case for 5G, and some of these pilots will result in commercial contracts.