Over the past few years, fifth-generation mobile networks have quickly evolved from a futuristic concept to a revolutionary technology that is driving real value across the business landscape and society as a whole.
The benefits offered by 5G technology are huge, whether it’s faster internet speeds, lower latency, higher capacity, greater bandwidth or improved reliability. Moreover, the availability of powerful 5G networks will be crucial as the internet-connected ecosystem reaches 55.7 billion devices by 2025.
What makes the rise of 5G so exciting is the fact that it’s driving innovation across a range of industries. In the foreseeable future, 5G will underpin smart cities, telehealth, autonomous vehicles, Smart Manufacturing and many other areas. These varied use cases make 5G a lucrative investment for businesses of all industries.
Adopting 5G promises huge growth for businesses
While 5G is still advancing and rolling out, it offers huge business potential for telecoms companies looking to realise the gains of an exciting new industry and offer the best possible connectivity solutions to customers.
In fact, research from Gartner shows that global revenues generated by 5G network infrastructure will increase from $13.7 billion in 2020 to $19.1 billion in 2021, representing impressive growth of 39%.
And these numbers will no doubt increase exponentially as businesses and individuals continue to invest in 5G products. According to the 2021 Ericsson mobility report, the number of global 5G subscribers will reach 580 million before 2021 draws to a close. But in 2026, there’ll be a staggering 3.5 billion 5G subscribers.
What’s more, Qualcomm believes that 5G will accelerate global economies in the coming years. It expects 5G to generate $13.1 trillion of international economic output, 22.8 million new jobs, and $265 billion of annual capital expenditure and research and development by 2035.
Taking advantage of 5G
Overall, 5G provides a lot of opportunity in terms of benefits, use cases and economic growth. But how can businesses take advantage of these opportunities and adopt 5G in their own operations? Luckily, there are a variety of ways to do these things.
One of the best ways for organisations to realise the full potential and scale of 5G technology is by adopting a fully automated cloud-native approach to seamlessly manage and orchestrate the network resources for 5G services. Using a range of cloud-based platforms and tools, businesses can develop, deploy, provision and scale 5G solutions more efficiently than other approaches.
With few clicks, NTT DATA’s intuitive cloud-based 5G Enabling Fabric (EF), lets enterprise users select, configure and schedule the deployment of services themselves. 5G enabling fabric turns CSP’s 5G network into a truly programmable and intelligent network environment in which resources can be mixed and matched, customised and deployed with unprecedented speed and simplicity including the slice of 5G spectrum. NTT DATA 5GEF uses open source software to save on licencing cost for its customers.
MNOs and telecoms firms are also increasingly delivering custom 5G network based services that specifically suit the needs of their business customers. These allow the telecoms industry to strengthen customer relationships and give businesses an easy way to innovate with 5G technology with the relevant use cases across industry verticals and grow revenue beyond connectivity.
5G campus solutions are fully virtualized private mobile networks with an associated application that let enterprises take full control of their communication services to enable highly automated and efficient operations. 5G campus networks can be quickly deployed with the industrial use cases that are pre-designed, developed and tested in multi campus test beds based on real world scenarios.
NTT DATA, for instance, has developed its open 5G data campus network that gives enterprises full control over communication services while adapting security and network footprint based on their own needs. It comprises disaggregated network architecture, fully virtualized network functionality and a cloud-native software stack, allowing enterprises to provision, deploy and scale 5G networks and services with greater ease. NTT Data’s cross vertical application development and management capability along with the ecosystem partners completes the end to end offering to leverage 5G technology in its totality.
As 5G networks proliferate and generate even more compelling use cases, businesses of all industries will likely increase investment in this area. However, in order to achieve return on investment and provide best in class service experience they need to manage the complexity of service operations and applications. NTT DATA offers a private 5G network-as-a-service platform, which MNOs can use to provide personalised 5G services to their enterprise customers while ensuring cost effectiveness. It offers end-to-end management of the entire network services lifecycle, differentiates between customer-facing systems and the network domain, and uses artificial intelligence to prevent network failures and outages automatically.
What does the future hold for optical and wireless networks?
Whilst 5G technology may have advanced significantly in recent years, the truth is we are only scratching the surface. Over the next few years and decades, 5G innovation and adoption will only continue to accelerate as the world becomes more interconnected and sustainable.
With data consumption over the networks exponentially increasing every year, soon, 5G may seem like a distant memory. As networking technology continues to advance, beyond 6G, expect to see a shift to innovative optical and wireless networks (IOWN), harnessing photonics and other next-generation technologies in a bid to meet future societal and technological demands.