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5G White Paper by Forbes and Huawei: Businesses Need 5G Networks for Revolutionary Increases in Speed and Capacity

Jun 15, 2016

[NEW YORK, United States, June 15, 2016] According to a new report by Forbes Insights, in association with Huawei, "The Mobile Industrial Revolution: Anticipating the Impact and Opportunities of 5G Networks on Business," global business leaders say that mobile and wireless are critical to the way they do business, but they worry that their needs are outpacing existing access networks.

In order to evolve and succeed in the future, these executives say their companies will require revolutionary increases in the speed, capacity and connectivity of mobile devices—and they’re looking to 5G networks to provide it. The introduction of 5G networks in the next five to 10 years is expected to create huge opportunities to build enterprise value in a range of industries, profoundly affecting business operations, P&l economics, asset valuations and revenue models.

A Forbes Insights global survey of more than 1,000 executives found a capability gap: more than one-third of all executives say that their current systems already can’t support the evolving needs of their business, including more than half (55%) of executives at organizations with revenues in excess of $10 billion. The problem is most pressing in the Asia/Pacific region, where 38% of all executives agree they’ve out- grown their networks, followed closely by Europe (36%) and North America (34%).

“Organizations with an eye on the future are already anticipating the impact of 5G technology,” said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media. “They are working on long-term plans to innovate and realize value from this.”

“5G will help to realize a completely new world for consumers, for vertical industries and for operators,” Said Mr. Qiu Heng, President of Huawei’s Wireless Marketing Operation Department. “This will be a fully connected world converging the physical world and the cyber world, and this world will provide infinite new business opportunities for vertical industries and for operators.”

Other key findings include:

Network requirements: a majority of executives (67%) say they need mobile networks that provide ultra-high throughput. Nearly as many say they require massive numbers of connections (64%), or ultra-low latency (59%). What they need is 5G networks.

Need for education: overall, more than a third (36%) of all executives polled in the Forbes Insights survey say they know “very little” or “nothing” about the technologies and issues around 5G wireless; 38% say they “understand the fundamentals,” and only 27% say they are “very familiar.” Executives based in Europe tend to be far better informed than their colleagues, with only 24% saying they know little or nothing, compared with 42% in Asia/Pacific and 40% in North America. Unsurprisingly, leaders in the technology industry are much better informed than their colleagues in other verticals.

Preparing for disruption: Executives at just 26% of all companies say they are “extensively” exploring or planning how they might use 5G, while 15% say they are not planning at all. The companies sitting on the sidelines tend to be smaller and earn less revenue: 28% of executives at companies with revenues below $500 million say they aren’t making plans—five times as many as the 3% of executives who aren’t planning for 5G at $10 billion-plus organizations.

Benefits of 5G: More than 80% of all executives believe that 5G technologies will have positive effects on multiple areas of their business. The areas where they’re most bullish about the benefits of 5G: customer experience, service/ product quality and worker productivity.

About this research

This report is based on a global survey of 1,147 senior executives across a range of industries and functions conducted by Forbes Insights in the fall of 2015. Close to four-fifths are C-level executives; 43% are CEOs. Roughly a third of the respondents are based in each region: Asia/Pacific, North America and Europe. Twenty-two percent of companies represented have annual revenues of $10 billion or more; 23% have revenues of $1 billion to $10 billion; and 55% have revenues of $1 billion or less. Forbes Insights also conducted one-on-one interviews with several executives to further illuminate the findings.

Download the report at: