Pandemic accelerates 5G, Wi-Fi 6 development

Analysis

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The coronavirus pandemic has led to increased investment in advanced wireless services globally, with companies worldwide turning their attention to 5G and Wi-Fi 6, accelerating innovation and digital transformation, according to Deloitte's latest survey.

The pandemic is prompting large companies worldwide to turn their attention to next-generation wireless technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6, ensuring their employees, machines, and customers are globally connected. To get a global picture of the adoption of advanced wireless services, Deloitte conducted a survey of networking executives in nine countries (China, India, Japan, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Portugal) in Q4 2020.

Changing business priorities

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated investment in wireless connectivity. According to respondents, this is to avoid future disruptions and to introduce new solutions and services. About half of the surveyed expect the amount of investment in these services to increase, while just under 25% expect a decrease. Some 67% of respondents are either launching trial projects or deploying Wi-Fi 6 solutions, while 58% are doing the same with 5G solutions, in many cases deploying both technologies simultaneously. Some 81% of those who participated in the survey believe these technologies will become essential within three years.


Dóra Major 

"Businesses that not only consider or rethink advanced wireless technologies, but make them an important part of their infrastructure and innovation strategy, can gain a huge growth potential and consequently compete better in the global market," said Dóra Major, senior manager, business advisory branch at Deloitte Hungary.
 
Deloitte argues that next-generation wireless services will be the key to introducing the technologies needed to create digital transformation. Some 8 out of 10 executives surveyed expect the introduction of next-generation wireless networks to transform their businesses within three years, and 7 out of 10 believe that in the same timeframe these technologies will change the entire industry, including the way they are sold. At least 8 out of 10 consider wireless services essential for their businesses to adopt these new technologies. About 76% of respondents believe their business can gain a competitive advantage by taking advantage of advanced wireless technologies.
 
The benefits of innovation and digital transformation for employees, customers, and partners appear to be significant: Deloitte's survey shows that those adopting 5G and Wi-Fi 6 technologies are using these services both in and out of the office for a variety of reasons, but improving workplace communication, collaboration and productivity is particularly timely and relevant, as connectivity is essential for remote working and business continuity in a crisis like the current epidemic.

Creating a complex ecosystem

Deloitte's survey also showed that the ecosystem surrounding advanced wireless technologies is complex, changing, and growing. Enterprises deploying the technologies are contracting a wide range of telecoms and technology suppliers, employing on average eight out of nine types of suppliers, such as application and cloud service providers, wireless service providers, consultants and integrators, equipment manufacturers, and infrastructure providers. Two-thirds of technology adopters buy the best available components where possible, many of them ask for help with integration, and 7 out of 10 are open to developing new supplier relationships.

Dénes Simonyi

"In line with the research, domestic players are also seeing the potential of 5G, with service providers already making the service available in a number of locations and a joint programme being developed by key public and private sector representatives in the 5G Coalition," added Dénes Simonyi, manager of Deloitte Hungary's technology advisory branch.

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