U.S. business leaders believe 5G will aid recovery from economic impact of COVID-19

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Speed, advanced performance, and stability seen as 5G accelerators for business transformation according to Verizon business survey

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What you need to know:

  • Seven in 10 (69%) decision-makers believe 5G will help their company overcome the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Nearly half (48%) of decision-makers said their companies have already provided or are planning to provide a 5G-capable smartphone or device to employees within the next six months

  • 76% of respondents say that mobile edge computing (MEC) is important to their company

  • Decision-makers largely agree that 5G will create new opportunities for their company (80%), their industry (79%), and their role (79%)

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Verizon Business today released findings from its “Verizon 5G Business Report” highlighting the impact 5G technology is expected to have across the United States. The findings show that technology decision-makers overwhelmingly agree 5G high-speed communications networks and devices will create new growth opportunities and applications for their companies and industries within the next two years.

“Over the last year, 5G has become top-of-mind for businesses as they manage through condensed digital transformation timelines,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Today’s findings underscore the critical role 5G will play in economic recovery and growth, and we stand committed and ready to help our partners make that transition quickly and seamlessly.”

In terms of use cases, 73% of decision-makers polled also said they already know which 5G applications will be most beneficial to their enterprises, and seven in 10 believe that 5G technologies will help them accelerate their companies’ recovery from issues posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately 80% of decision-makers agreed that 5G would provide new growth opportunities for their companies. While upfront costs of 5G ranked as the highest barrier to adoption (41%), an inability to make a clear business case (10%) ranked among the lowest barriers, highlighting the high confidence among business executives regarding the power of 5G.

Businesses driving adoption

According to data from a 5G consumer study conducted in December 2020 shows that businesses are ahead of consumers in driving 5G adoption.

Key Stats:

Businesses are more aware of 5G than consumers, and they prioritize it

  • Most business decision-makers say they have heard “a lot” about 5G (55%) versus 1 in 5 adults when asked the same question (23%)

5G adoption is well underway across businesses

  • Almost half (48%) of decision-makers say their company has already provided or is planning to provide a 5G-capable smartphone or device to employees within the next six months

  • 76% of respondents say that mobile edge computing (MEC) is important to their company

  • Decision-makers largely agree that 5G will create new opportunities for their company (80%), their industry (79%), and their role (79%).

A transformative impact

Among industries, a variety of distinct use cases emerge as well as nuances to drive 5G adoption.

Sports, Entertainment and Media

Key Stats:

  • In rethinking the live event experience, 78% indicated that leveraging 5G to incorporate augmented and virtual reality experiences would be of value

  • Similarly, 66% saw making virtual live events through AR and VR like the in-person experience as a valuable use case of 5G

  • More than half of technology decision-makers in the industry (52%) indicated that 5G planning and adoption is a top priority for C-level leaders at their organization

Government/Public Sector

Key Stats:

  • 74% saw real-time video to monitor crowds and increase safety as a valuable impact of 5G

  • 70% viewed faster data transfers to and from first responders as they get to and from emergency sites as a benefit of 5G

  • 36% felt that 5G would have a transformational impact on cybersecurity


Key Stats:

  • More than 3 in 4 technology decision-makers in healthcare said 5G will change how their organization interacts with customers (78%)

  • Decision-makers in healthcare view use of remote health monitoring devices (81%) as the most valuable application of 5G in their industry, while use of mobile networks for high-quality telemedicine is viewed as the application that respondents believe their organization is most likely to implement, interact with, or respond to in the next two years (78%).

  • Operational efficiency (75%) was named as the area in which 5G will have the most noticeable impact for respondents’ organizations


Key Stats:

  • Supporting system automation ranked highest amongst all industries and specific use cases for 5G deployment (49%) by manufacturing respondents

  • Real-time supply chain tracking from shipment to shelves to respond to inventory demands and help combat theft and fraud ranked highest in terms of sector specific benefits (88%) and tied with real-time tracking of capacity and production in terms of likelihood of being deployed in next two years (82%)


Key Stats:

  • 77% of retail respondents indicated that businesses that do not adopt 5G technology will fall behind their peers

  • 80% felt that giving customers the ability to shop from anywhere using AR and VR via 5G would be a valuable use case

  • Enhancing wireless internet speed and reliability (60%) was named the top priority for usage of 5G

The survey, which was conducted in partnership with Morning Consult, polled 700 business technology decision-makers across the United States to gauge interest in deploying 5G and specific use cases within the Sports/Entertainment/Media, Government/Public Sector, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Retail industries.

In the past several months, Verizon Business has been active in bringing 5G to enterprises through agreements with companies like Digital Catapult, General Motors, Honeywell, Walgreens, and WeWork. The agreements cover a variety of use cases ranging from Network as a Service (NaaS) to commercial indoor deployments.

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