5G technology will revolutionize every facet of our lives, including health care, manufacturing, and transportation. But, this can only happen when organizations begin to rethink their current business models. The opportunity can’t be understated. According to KPMG International’s report, Unlocking the benefits of 5G for enterprise customers, the speed and power of 5G will unlock an estimated US$4.3 trillion in economic value globally across the major industry verticals.
“5G is going to be an exponential step ahead compared to what we have today. The high-bandwidth, low latency connectivity will have a huge impact, but the 5G technology alone is not necessarily going to create the transformation,” says Dan Krausz, National Sector Lead, Telecommunications, KPMG in Canada. “There are other technologies, which are maturing at the same time, including Intelligent Automation, Edge Computing, and the Internet of Things. These combined with 5G will revolutionize the way we do business, but only if we know what business challenges can be solved and what opportunities can be gained from the technology.”
The Internet of Things, a system of interconnected computing devices and digital machines, is on the rise. The number of connected devices worldwide is well into the billions. 5G as the next generation of wireless networking will accelerate this digital explosion.
“5G will be enterprise led — it’s the campus-style applications that will initially see the biggest benefit from 5G,” says Krausz, “Imagine hospitals that will have wireless patient monitoring, real-time tracking of supplies and pharmaceuticals, and smart beds.”
There is a real opportunity for Canadian businesses to improve their operational efficiency, with the increase in data transfer and real-time processing of information. This will allow them to do far more than they currently can within the limitations of a 4G network. In the past, we first saw the development of the technology followed by the applications. However, with 5G we are seeing the applications being developed alongside the technology.
“If businesses and governments aren’t thinking about this, they risk being left behind in how they interact with customers, employees, and citizens,” says KPMG’s Aaron Price, Senior Manager, Telecommunications Advisory. “5G brings huge opportunity and scope for innovation, on a scale we’ve never seen before.”
Building your business through partnerships
To harness the full capability of 5G in Canada, Telecommunications providers, technology companies, and capital markets must work collaboratively with industry and the public sector. Use cases illustrate how much more effective new technologies can be, when deployed over a 5G network.
Autonomous vehicles are a good example, where several entities are contributing innovative solutions to bring what a decade ago would have been unimaginable. Government will also play a critical role in the ecosystem, especially when it comes to issues of security and governance.
Rise to the opportunity
“Canada is behind some other developed markets when it comes to the deployment of 5G,” says Krausz. “But, I’m not too concerned because we have a strong history of rolling out world-class networks, and we will have the opportunity to learn from what is successful globally.”
He adds that businesses need to start preparing by first considering the use cases for their company in a 5G world, leveraging knowledge from others with a deep understanding of emerging and maturing technologies.
“We’re working with a number of organizations to map out their approach to 5G. They now have a strategy and a clearer sense of what the future could look like,” says Krausz. “I would encourage leaders to get plugged into the ecosystem now and start developing partnerships, so they can get a step ahead. Those who partner best will be most successful in the 5G era.”