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Transformation of industry verticals through 5G – Frost & Sullivan

27 May 2019

Now that 5G is here, the much-anticipated infrastructure will enable a smarter and more connected world promised to drive digital economies for governments, to create new monetization opportunities for businesses and offer a real perceivable difference over 4G for consumers.

According to a recent Frost & Sullivan survey conducted at the 5th Annual Asia Pacific Spectrum Management Conference held in Kuala Lumpur in March 2019, 79% of respondents said that they will rate their mobile operator according to the indoor network quality that they experience.

An overwhelming 93% of Malaysian respondents agreed that Digital Indoor Systems (DIS) availability was important. These statistics represent the changing needs on the demand side across the region that needs to be addressed.

With 80% of network traffic now originating from indoors, it is not hard to see that indoor use cases will become a key driver of 5G networks.

 As the number of 5G launches increase in number, mobile data usage will increase exponentially alongside new applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 8K live video streaming and location-based services (LBS). All of which will primarily take place indoors.

"This means that the improving customer experience indoors to monetize 5G will become a priority and of utmost importance. This coupled with users increasingly becoming critical of their mobile operators when it comes to the indoor environment require that mobile operators focus on indoors for the next wave of growth," said Frost & Sullivan APAC associate director Mei Lee Quah.

5G has the potential to transform industry verticals through 5G indoor connectivity but certain key verticals will experience stronger growth than others.

A key success factor for DIS would be to focus on key verticals where there will be stronger growth and a clearer value proposition for indoor 5G while solving pain points for users. Retail, media and entertainment, tourism and hospitality, and industrial manufacturing are some examples of the more promising key verticals.

Given the advantages of DIS over the conventional Distributed Antenna System (DAS), mobile operators worldwide have already begun the transition from DAS to DIS. To date, the most notable progress has been in China with its achievement of about 80% penetration for new indoor system deployments.

Regionally, a common theme across the case studies of mobile operators implementing DIS show that mobile operators are looking for cost-effective, future-proof solutions (e.g. 5G-ready) that can be deployed quickly.