Communications technology is set to change: the advent of 5G

Enabling exceptional speed and new use-cases that drive productivity and consumer adoption, 5G is new to the European Technology Index this year, but we can still draw some interesting conclusions.

Our 2020 European Technology Index reveals:

5G is seen to have the most potential for smart cities, especially in conjunction with the IoT.

This describes technology such as smart video surveillance and instrumentation to monitor the condition of infrastructure. Alongside the IoT, 5G allows many more sensors and devices to be used, with low latency and low power. Many of these technologies still seem quite futuristic, so it’s interesting that business is taking this seriously.


5G can deliver significant improvements in industrial efficiency in confined and secure areas

The industrial/manufacturing sector probably accounts for the most advanced 5G installations to date, such as the Port of Hamburg 5G research project. Despite this apparent success, only 3% of respondents thought this area offered the most growth potential.

Questions around the main benefits of 5G show less distinct results

The top-ranked benefits of 5G are:

  • enables faster processing power (55%)
  • increased connectivity (51%)
  • development of new business models (46%)
  • lower latency (44%)

Network slicing and private LTE networks the lowest, possibly highlighting the need for wider industry education on 5G capabilities and benefits.

The telecommunications sector needs to work harder to persuade others of the benefits of 5G

Infrastructure investment ranked top of the challenges to the introduction of 5G, but it’s notable that despite some years of reporting on 5G, “developing use-cases” is again one of the highest-ranked answers.

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