by Gugu Lourie
5G IoT connections are set to reach $8 billion (R119 billion) in revenues by 2024, according to a new study from Juniper Research.
This is a growth of over 1,400% over the next 5 years, rising from $525 million in 2020.
The report identified the automotive and smart cities sectors as key growth drivers for 5G adoption over the next 5 years.
5G, the latest iteration of wireless cellular technologies, has started to be rolled out by network operators and industry stakeholders. Previous iterations of technologies (3G and 4G) were developed with a consumer-oriented focus.
However, 5G will have further-reaching impacts, enabling a large number of use cases in IoT sectors such as healthcare, automotive industries, smart cities and mobile broadband. 5G networks will deliver high bandwidth and low latency that supports services such as UHD (Ultra High Definition) video streaming.
5G will provide the data infrastructure not just for the next generation of mobile communications but for serious developments in IoT, including smart cities and AVs (Autonomous Vehicles).
The new research, 5G Networks in IoT: Sector Analysis & Impact Assessment 2020-2025, anticipated that revenue from these 5G connections is a highly sought-after new revenue stream for operators.
It forecasts that 5G IoT connections must be considered as new connections that will not cannibalise existing operator connectivity revenue from current IoT technologies.
5G Value-Added Services Key for Operators
The research urges operators to develop comprehensive value-added services to enable IoT service users to manage their 5G connections. It forecasts that tools, such as network slicing and multi-access edge computing solutions, will be essential to attract the highest spending IoT service users to use their 5G networks.
The research forecasts that valued-added services will become crucial in the automotive and smart cities sectors. It also forecasts that these sectors would account for 70% of all 5G IoT connections by 2025, with higher than anticipated levels of device support for 5G radios accelerating the uptake of 5G connectivity.
Maximising the New Revenue Stream
The research claimed that the initial high pricing of 5G connectivity in the IoT sector would dissuade all but high-value IoT users. It urged operators to roll out holistic network management tools that complement the enhanced capabilities of 5G networks for IoT capabilities.
Research author Andrew Knighton remarked “Management tools for the newly-enabled services are key for users managing large scale deployments. We believe that only 5% of 5G connections will be attributable to the IoT, but as these are newly enabled connections, operators must view them as essential to securing a return on their 5G investment”.
The IoT is the concept of providing a connected digital identity to physical objects and networking those identities and their data together. Analysis of the data that these objects produce aims to improve the quality of life, efficiency, create value, or reduce costs.
It will enable far great automation, as devices become self-regulating as complex, interconnected networks. From hospital data management to self-driving cars, devices will play a powerful role in people’s lives. While 5G is not an absolute necessity for IoT, the two are mutually supportive. IoT is a data-centric endeavour.
While geographically stable IoT devices will be able to use local connective networks, those that are more mobile will need to tap into mobile telecoms. This creates opportunities at the infrastructure, device and component levels, which can be accessed by 5G technology.
5G will be used to connect many traditionally ‘dumb’ devices, including appliances, vehicles and smart homes. The IoT will depend on the widespread deployment of sensors.
Many of these will only be able to connect to the IoT through mobile networks, while for others this will offer a more convenient, flexible and cost-effective alternative to wired connections.
Thanks to its increased spectrum use, 5G will be better able than its predecessors to withstand IoT’s growing pressure on data networks