Security and cost worries could harm 5G

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New research from Accenture has revealed that business and technology executives worldwide underestimate the disruptive potential of 5G technology.

The company's global study of more than 1,800 executives from mid sized and large businesses across industries in 10 countries found that 53 percent believe there are “very few” things that 5G will enable them to do that they cannot already do on today's 4G networks.

Surprisingly, just 37 percent of the executives surveyed expect 5G to bring a “revolutionary” shift in speed and capacity.

At the same time though, executives think that the technology will have important competitive implications with 70 percent believing that 5G applications will give them a competitive edge with customers. More than two in five executives also expect 5G to have a “significant” impact on speed (46%) and capacity (42%).

5G's potential impact

Accenture's Network practice global lead, George Nazi explained that 5G will bring unseen opportunities that are hard to imagine today, saying:

“The reality is that 5G will bring a major wave of connectivity that opens new dimensions for innovation and commercial 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.” 

Imagining the future possibilities and use cases of 5G remains difficult for the executives surveyed and nearly three quarters (72%) said they need help doing so.

When it came to perceived barriers to 5G adoption, executives cited a number of barriers including upfront investment (36%), security (32%), and employee buy-in (29%). Additionally, while 78 percent of executives believe that using 5G in the workplace will make their business more secure, one third (32%) have concerns about the security of 5G.