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Accenture: Business and Tech Leaders Underestimating 5G Impact

Mar 28
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Global business and technology executives are underestimating the disruptive impact of 5G, according to a new study from Accenture.

Short for 'fifth generation', 5G is set to arrive in the first UK cities in the coming months, with EE - the country's biggest mobile network operator - already unveiling plans to launch the technology in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham and Manchester this summer.

The UK's other networks - O2, Three and Vodafone - have also confirmed they will introduce 5G before the end of the year.

In its early stages, 5G is expected to allow download speeds of around 1,000 Mbps, a figure that could eventually climb to 10 Gbps (10,000 Mbps) - around 30 times faster than today's advanced 4G networks.

Despite these substantial improvements, Accenture found that 53% of business and tech executives believe 5G will allow them to achieve "very few" things that they cannot already do.

Only two-fifths of the 1,800 executives surveyed are expecting 5G to bring a "revolutionary" upturn in mobile network capacity and speed.

Respondents also admitted they are struggling to understand the advantages of 5G, with 72% saying they need help to visualise the possibilities of 5G and its future use cases.

While 40% of those surveyed are open to partnering with telecoms providers to help them comprehend these benefits, 60% complained that communications companies frequently lack knowledge of the challenges within their specific industries.

The study also highlighted several perceived barriers to 5G adoption, ranging from upfront investment (cited by 36% of respondents) to employee buy-in (29%).

George Nazi, Accenture’s network practice global lead, insisted that fifth-generation networks will pave the way for innovation, commercial growth and economic development.

"Breakthroughs in three-dimensional video, immersive television, autonomous cars and smart-city infrastructure will unleash opportunities that are difficult to imagine today but will soon be transformative. Telecommunications companies will play a pivotal role in bringing these prospects to light," he said.

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