New Nokia research reveals biggest 5G drivers for enterprise IT and OT

The promise of speed and low latency has always been the selling point of 5G and Nokia‘s latest research seems to affirm that. The technology company found that video is the “killer app” for 5G across verticals and different business sizes, with 83% of respondents finding it compelling and 48% citing 5G-enhanced video monitoring as a near-term (0-4 years) opportunity.

Respondents recognize the additional value that 5G can bring to video, with 83% finding video alerts such as detecting and recognizing who is on-premise as valuable capabilities. Video was followed by remote-controlled machinery with 77% of participants interested, and connected cars at 73%.

The study, which was conducted in partnership with Parks Associates and surveyed over 1,000 IT decision-makers, covered key enterprise segments including energy, manufacturing, government/public safety, and automotive/transportation. It aims to highlight 5G plans, expectations, and the biggest 5G WAN and LAN drivers for businesses across key industries in the US and UK.

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The research also found that two-thirds of participants surveyed (65%) are familiar with 5G, and one third (34%) report they are already using 5G and are highly satisfied with the service. While nearly half (47%) of IT decision-makers say their organizations have already started planning for 5G, others are waiting for more widespread 5G availability (54%), and nearly one third (30%) reported they would also like to better understand the value of 5G before developing a strategy to use it in their organization.


“We anticipate requirements born out of the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate longer-term 5G plans with a focus on digitization, automation, and analytics, which perfectly lend themselves to physical distancing, monitoring, and remote working,” said Josh Aroner, vice president marketing for Nokia’s service provider business. “Now we have a better understanding of what is happening in the network, there is a clear call to action for CSPs to invest in vertical expertise and guide their enterprise customers with more 5G education.”

The pandemic also created an opportunity to explore other 5G use cases and business models. About 61% of respondents said they would look to a mobile operator for direction when planning 5G services, CSPs have an opportunity to position themselves with those enterprises who are looking for 5G expertise during these uncertain times.

As 5G is initially geared toward enterprise and industrial use, the research found that energy and manufacturing firms show the highest awareness of 5G and are exploring its potential for advanced WAN/LAN use cases including infrastructure maintenance, remote machine control, and cloud robotics.


Over half of respondents (55%) find immersive experiences (5G-enabled AR or VR) appealing. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, 52% of professionals found 5G AR/VR for employee training appealing. Over two thirds (67%) of education respondents found the ability to provide access to interactive education experiences as appealing.

About 77% of companies that already use connected equipment find 5G-enabled remote control machinery appealing; and 82% of respondents who already use cloud robotics today find the concept of 5G-enabled cloud robotics highly appealing.

Among organizations that use vehicles, 74% found connected vehicles using 5G appealing. Across industries, Nokia found that 5G holds the most appeal where the vehicles are being used for safety and security purposes such as monitoring premises and public safety or for transporting paying customers.

Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)is the top use case for small and medium-sized businesses, 73% of whom show a strong interest in FWA if cost and performance can match their existing wired broadband service.

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