Consider this first:
Taking vast amounts of data from the real environment and processing it at lightning speed can enable companies to make informed decisions about how to optimise their workplaces and working practices. Though the concept of digital twins has been around for some time, the advent of 5G is enabling the technology to advance rapidly and its utility — in sectors ranging from manufacturing to ports and mining — is becoming more apparent. Even so, most projects are only at the pilot stage.
Another touted enterprise use for 5G is private networks, where spectrum is essentially offered directly to companies for them to operate their own independent network.
There are some project demos of universal applicability of 5G in “distance education”, but similar ideas could be implemented with optic fibre in premises and a good Wifi router. Why would you need 5G? Why would you need even more expensive solutions of “remote driving”? I have been querying the network operators how they will “impact” the “future of healthcare” with 5G? Remote surgeries require additional overhead burdens for stand-by surgeons and anaesthetists (including redundant systems of operational logistics), which should have a clear path of ROI. 5G is a solution looking for a problem. IoT, for example, works with 4G well enough and very few operators have invested in a “stand-alone” service. Network splicing has issues with “network neutrality” and telecom operators want a slice of pie of the enterprise computing and edge servers.
A little more of the context:
The catch is that there is a very real threat that telecoms companies will be cut out of a lot of this business. Several countries, including the US, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea and India, have started making some 5G spectrum available for companies to buy directly from the government, according to Omdia research, and are no longer selling it exclusively to telecoms groups. In some cases this means that companies can simply sign a contract with an equipment vendor to build their own private networks.
Open- RAN is threatening to make consolidated vendors history. We are staring at the cusp of disruption, with a future hybrid trajectory as the way forward.