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83% of Fortune 1,000 tech leaders plan to transition to 5G by 2023

83% of Fortune 1,000 tech leaders plan to transition to 5G by 2023

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ABB survey uncovers top priorities and challenges for wider-spread 5G deployment; security and reliability take centre stage.

Consumers are already starting to experience 5G network speeds on their mobile devices, and at a business level, it may be as little as two years until enterprises start realising the true impact of 5G. Once fully deployed, 5G has the potential to drastically transform enterprise operations and industries.

That’s one of the key takeaways from the new data report from ABB Power Conversion, Destination 5G: How Global Fortune 1000 CIOs and CTOs are Charting Their Course.

Based on a survey of 204 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) in the top 1,000 companies on the Global Fortune index across the US and select European countries, the report reveals new insights into how global technology leaders are navigating the transition to 5G. It examines transition timelines, level of investment, implementation plans and evaluation criteria surrounding the selection of network and infrastructure providers, as well as business use cases, priorities, key considerations and hesitations.

According to the report, when it comes to 5G transition timing, 83% of respondents have either transitioned to 5G or anticipate doing so within the next two years.

While many survey respondents are getting ready to embark on their 5G journey, or have already, the course to 5G implementation is not one-size-fits-all – and many respondents are at different stages. For example, less than a quarter of respondents had entered or completed the project and process planning stage (24%) at the time of the survey.

“The transition to 5G is so much more than an incremental network advancement, with implications reaching far beyond consumer smartphones. 5G represents a seismic shift that has the potential to unleash a new generation of innovation and optimisation for businesses, from increased network security and the enablement of private networks, to truly unlocking the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” said Raj Radjassamy, 5G and Wireless Segment Leader for ABB Power Conversion.

The top 5G-enabled capabilities or applications that CIOs and CTOs in the Global Fortune 1,000 anticipate will have the most impact on their business or industry also varied across survey respondents. Digital Transformation acceleration (46%) and advanced IoT/IIoT deployment (46%) led the way, followed by smart factories or manufacturing (35%).

Top considerations and concerns of CIOs/CTOs

In addition to uncovering how businesses are approaching 5G planning and deployment, ABB’s report brings to light the top considerations and concerns of global technology leaders:

  • 54% of respondents named increased network security as a top reason for transitioning to 5G, while 52% cited the need for a private network or IIoT enhancements.
  • 51% cited increased operational efficiencies as a major reason for the transition. In surprising contrast, only 31% of respondents named cost savings as a top reason for deploying 5G.
  • 47% believe the biggest barrier to 5G transition lies in not fully understanding its potential uses and benefits or not having them fully validated.
  • 57% of US respondents and 46% of European respondents ranked operating costs (OpEx) of 5G as the top power/energy deployment concern. In addition, 46% of all respondents named reliability in power infrastructure as a concern, while 44% named power infrastructure costs as a concern.

Powering 5G networks securely and reliably

Looking ahead, the arrival of 5G and the ability to leverage its advanced capabilities without interruption demands two key criteria: security and reliability. In fact, survey respondents whose business has entered or completed the 5G network provider selection phase ranked security as the most selected criteria regarding network provider selection (at 57%).

“With the imminent arrival of the 5G revolution, the world’s leading companies will likely depend on secure, reliable and efficient power and network infrastructure to help them achieve their business goals and advance their operations and communications,” said Radjassamy.

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