5G in IoT Starts to Crystallize in Industrial IoT Market
A 2019 analyst group Gartner forecast suggests it will take five years or more for most regions to have 5G coverage on par with today’s 4G, and that less than 45% of communications service providers (CSPs) will have launched a commercial 5G network by 2025. In the meantime, some end-users are setting up their own networks, not relying entirely on CSPs.
5G Mileage May Vary
For her part, Michelle Pelino, analyst at Forrester Research, advises that 5G networks won’t be available on a wide scale for many years.
“What is possible is one thing. What is available is another,” she said. “It varies.”
For business leaders contemplating IoT futures, how they think about the actual deployment environment is key, she said.
“How a 5G network is architected must be based on use cases. For example, 5G [signals] may not move through some concrete and materials.” Business leaders also may often rely on IoT service providers that work in a unique ecosystem composed of various infrastructure, she said.
Moreover, for people leading industrial IoT efforts at global companies, finding out what is available becomes more complicated as they span country boundaries with different approaches to spectrum allocation, Pelino said.
A common tech meme holds that the future may have already arrived, but is just not evenly distributed. As 5G enabled networks go online, that meme has special relevance. Business and IT leaders will need to keenly follow new IoT use cases in order to ensure their organization avoid future surprises.