The Economic impact of 5G on industries

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Uday Deb
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Even as the momentum builds to deploy 5G networks the world-over, there is widespread anticipation about the transformative capabilities of the next-gen wireless phenomenon. It’s a given that the 5G era will deliver higher speeds and expanded connectivity on multiple devices— reasons why it will change lives forever. According to a recent forecast, the global 5G core market size is projected to grow from USD 630 million in 2020 to USD 9,497 million by 2025. India stands on the threshold of adopting the technology, and it is estimated that the country will have 350 million 5G subscriptions by 2026.

5G has the potential not only to spark a digital revolution but also impact the future of work and increase productivity. Crucially, the technology is expected to drive the engine of economic growth across all sectors.

Let us look at how 5G can create significant economic impact across key industries by unlocking multiple use cases:

Improving Healthcare Processes and Diagnoses

5G has created a connected healthcare ecosystem by leveraging IoT (Internet of Things), AI and robotics to enhance patient care. Experts believe that the disruptive technologies when combined with 5G will result in more accurate diagnoses and transform remote patient management. For example, remote robotic surgery can be performed by leveraging the interconnectivity of 5G and IoT. Medical sensors powered by AR (Augmented Reality) and real-time data readings can remotely guide surgeons to perform the operation.

According to recent projections, 5G-powered healthcare applications will add USD 530 billion to the global GDP by 2030. 5G enables more streamlined processes between healthcare providers and patients. The improved efficacy of telemedicine and telehealth was especially evident during the pandemic due to the increased deployment of 5G in hospitals and clinics. The continuous and real-time remote doctor-patient interactions also reduce the hospitalisation period.

The fundamental shift in healthcare will usher in a new concept called ‘4P’ medicine: predictive, preventive, personalised and participatory. Since 5G can deliver up to 100 times higher bandwidth, it will pave the way for critical home-based patient monitoring devices that support post-acute care.

Creating Virtual Experiences in Financial Services

The large-scale deployment of 5G has ushered in a FinTech revolution. A recent study has estimated that 5G applications in financial services will add USD 85 billion to the global GDP by 2030. Banks and other financial services players have adopted a digital-first approach and migrated their services to digital channels, such as online and mobile banking. The financial services industry has redesigned the customer journey and created meaningful virtual experiences by focusing on digitisation. Further, by combining drones with 5G technology, the insurance industry can monitor insured properties and prevent fraudulent practices. This will streamline claims management processes.

Accelerating Industrial Automation in Manufacturing

According to industry projections, 5G applications in manufacturing will add USD 134 billion to the global GDP by 2030. It’s also estimated that the number of IoT connected devices would increase to over 70 billion by 2025, many of them in use in industrial applications. As more devices are interconnected in smart factories, 5G has ushered in an era of flexible automation and streamlined supply chains. The technology has enabled cost-efficient customisation and increased the speed of data flow on the factory floor.

Reinventing the Future with 5G in a Post-Pandemic World

Despite the far-reaching implications of 5G across a range of industries, many business leaders are still uncertain about the advantages and opportunities that it might present. The key is to think ahead and accelerate the pace of 5G adoption to capture its disruptive potential early enough in the game. Even as businesses rebuild in a post-pandemic world, it is imperative that they also chart the roadmap to invest in the technology before new entrants capitalise on the multiple gains accruing from it. The need of the hour is strategic decision-making that will propel incumbent enterprises to proactively embrace the fifth-generation wireless technology.

Undoubtedly, the powerful impact of 5G will enable organisations to pursue new revenue opportunities and transform the employment landscape across sectors. A robust 5G ecosystem can only be achieved if there is strong collaboration among key stakeholders. A collaborative model will identify the existing challenges and interdependencies, paving the way for a culture of sustained innovation. Moreover, the transformative potential of 5G can be realised only when it’s integrated with other disruptive technologies, such as AI, IoT and edge computing.

The integrated applications of 5G are solving real-life business problems by reducing bottlenecks and improving efficiency and service quality.

It should be noted, however, that the 5G revolution goes beyond delivering higher bandwidth and lower latency. Its larger role is that of a catalyst to drive enterprise digital transformation. Forward-looking organisations need to rethink their operational efficiencies and go-to-market strategy by adopting 5G technology to create superior customer experiences. Therein lies the promise of 5G.

Crucially, to emerge from the upheaval caused by the pandemic, business leaders will need to adopt connected solutions to fuel disruptive innovation. That’s the only way to achieve economic resiliency for the future.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.

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