Here's what businesses preparing for 5G can do to help their business grow. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s what businesses preparing for 5G can do to help their business grow. Source: Shutterstock

Frost & Sullivan provides key insights for businesses exploring 5G

EVERYONE is excited about 5G.

Aside from boasting of low latency and high speed, the technology is expected to democratize the internet of things (IoT), enable real-time virtual reality (VR) and augment reality (AR) applications, and bring futuristic business and industrial use cases to life.

While experts believe that Asia will only have access to the technology no sooner than mid-2020, trial zones are popping up across the region in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and even Malaysia.

Businesses that hope to leverage the potential that 5G offers, therefore, are keen on exploring what they need to do in order to prepare their people and processes to leverage the technology. Now is the best time to do that.

To better understand what CXOs and business managers need to know about 5G, Tech Wire Asia interviewed Frost & Sullivan ICT Research Associate – Telecoms & Payments Strategy Sofea Zukarnain.

“5G presents opportunities to generate new revenue streams or increase revenue by improving productivity, cost and working conditions of businesses. 5G also presents opportunities to implement new business models that will transform industries.”

Zukarnain, clearly enthusiastic about the role of 5G in tomorrow’s businesses, does believe that businesses have to make arrangements before they can harness 5G’s potential.

“As 5G requires making network and infrastructure upgrades, businesses should see what upgrades and/or replacements are needed to the network hardware and software.”

In a recent earnings call with Wall Street analysts in the US, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson pointed out the same thing.

“It’s serving as a LAN replacement product. And we’re having really impressive demand, where we turn up the 5G service from businesses basically saying, ‘We want to put a router in,’ and it becomes their LAN replacement,” he said, referring to the company’s experience in the US.

Zukarnain also advises that businesses looking to make the most of 5G might consider transferring selected systems or services within the business into the cloud to leverage on cost savings and to be 5G ready.

Next, the Frost & Sullivan ICT Analyst believes that businesses should also consider transitioning to a virtual network – consolidating the physical hardware into a single software-based entity, in order to gain more flexibility in the 5G era.

According to Zukarnain, businesses should also consider building a relationship with their local mobile operator.

“5G mobile operators will play an important role for businesses in the future to provide connectivity. Once businesses find a mobile operator that can support them, the business can start the collaborative process that is crucial to develop value-added 5G services.”

Frost & Sullivan’s team believes that while 5G is going to make big changes to the company’s IT and systems, Zukarnain does highlights that 5G will also make some changes to how organizations function.

“5G will enable more effective mobile workforce applications and improve the experience of remote working and collaboration.”

That means, businesses need to be prepared for a cultural change as much as a change in their systems, platforms, and processes.

Overall, Zukarnain sees great potential for companies exploring 5G — after all, they’re going to be the ones ushering in a new era of exciting innovations that will delight customers and wow the market.