The migration to 5G for enterprise use has been slow, with lack of expertise, killer apps, and significant advantages over Wi-Fi cited as key issues. ABI Research, analysts who believe that “enterprises are much more interested in use cases and outcomes than in the name of the connectivity technology,” maintain that enterprise 5G didn’t gain traction in 2023 and won’t likely do so in 2024.
Tom Snyder, Executive Director of RIoT, an IoT community hub agrees, noting that companies haven’t taken advantage of 5G capabilities promising increased cellular capacity and near-zero communication latency. Artificial intelligence and machine learning integration is another potential growth area for enterprise 5G, but is also not predicted to gain traction in the coming year.
Wi-Fi’s efficiency without licensing costs has held back 5G adoption in enterprises, according to Snyder. However, he acknowledges that there is great potential for 5G once it extends beyond enterprise walls. For example, 5G could provide a single technology for seamless device tracking indoors and outdoors, potentially disrupting markets such as indoor navigation and asset tracking.
Upcoming iterations of 5G will open up capabilities for real-time applications, such as remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, and augmented reality. Network slicing and ultra-reliable low latency communications services will contribute to these innovative use cases. As enterprises continue to develop AI-driven applications, the need for faster link performance and lower latency will drive adoption of 5G in the future.