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March 31, 2023

EY: COVID-19 accelerates interest in 5G, support is needed to implement

  • The pandemic has prompted greater interest in 5G and IoT for 52% of organizations
  • 64% of businesses are struggling to identify the right 5G strategy vendor
  • 18% of organization respondents see telecoms as digital transformation experts


Almost three quarters of enterprises (71%) believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated existing digital transformation plans, with 52% signaling greater interest in 5G and the internet of things (IoT), according to the EY Reimagining Industry Futures Study 2021. The study of more than 1,000 global enterprises finds that 74% of organization respondents across a range of sectors believe 5G will represent an opportunity to reinvent their processes over the next five years.

Cristian Cârstoiu, Partner, Consulting, Head of Innovation, EY România: „Globally, we can see a change of mindset in the last 12 months, with more than 41% of respondents mentioning increased support from the leadership of organizations in terms of 5G opportunities and accelerating the integration of IoT equipment into company operations. In Romania, local companies should invest in education on the benefits of 5G technology and establish an accelerated strategy and implementation plan to compensate for delays in the legislative environment.”

As organizations continue to build out their transformation plans, 65% of respondents believe that emerging technologies will play a critical role in their business’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, most organizations are approaching their deployments with caution, with just 17% of enterprises currently investing in 5G. At the same time, another 73% plan to invest in three years’ time.

Sixty-four percent of enterprise respondents reported that they are struggling to identify the right kind of vendor to address their 5G strategy, while 74% of respondents stated that vendors must provide a more coherent vision of 5G to construct a robust investment case. Priorities stated by respondents when it comes to choosing a 5G vendor include that vendors must deliver business outcomes as partners rather than pure technology benefits (79%), and end-to-end solutions are a preferred supplier attribute (30%).


Telecommunications operators lack digital transformation expertise


Service providers should take care to educate and inspire enterprises in Europe that may be in an earlier phase of adoption or less aware of the pervasive opportunities represented by 5G and IoT. Meanwhile, organizations that are more focused on 5G’s role in pandemic recovery require a different approach and service providers must be ready to refine their 5G propositions at pace in order to cater for fast-changing use case needs.


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