Research by IBM’s Institute of Business Value found most operators have not yet developed a business case for 5G applications, though executives were optimistic on the prospects for edge-computing as a revenue generator.
A survey of around 500 operator executives revealed 7 per cent of new services are expected to be uniquely enabled by 5G.
IBM found that the highest performing operators by key financial metrics were most likely to be prioritising 5G and more than twice as likely to have developed relevant business cases.
Among these operators, executives tipped network edge as offering the greatest potential future value in terms of delivering new revenue opportunities.
Craig Wilson, VP of global telecom industry at IBM, told Mobile World Live the survey highlighted operators are “at a crossroads” and must decide if they are going to realise the potential of 5G and edge computing by becoming platform providers.
“We see the industry very much at an inflection point”, Wilson said. “There’s such promise of the network really being the fuel or the engine to enable edge computing”.
Beyond edge-computing, some executives also cited core networks as offering the greatest potential future value, predicting lower operating costs would be the key benefit of 5G.