According to new research from Bain & Company, the number of 5G connections worldwide will triple from less than 700 million today to more than 2.1 billion by 2025, as 5G enters the mainstream through affordable devices and significant use cases.
According to the firm’s estimate, 5G adoption is likely to accelerate in the first seven years—2018 to 2025—than it did in the seven years after 4G’s market launch in 2009.
The report attributes this strong momentum to a result of significant operator investment in 5G infrastructure, the progressive growth of 5G use cases, and a global appetite for data connectivity—which has increased significantly in the aftermath of the epidemic.
Despite the expansion, telcos are still struggling to reap the benefits of next-generation wireless broadband technology. It implies that artificial intelligence (AI) may enable telecom operators to achieve a higher return on investment (RoI) from 5G deployments by exponentially shortening decision-making time.
According to Herbert Blum, global communications, media, and entertainment practise leader at Bain & Company, leading telcos are already leveraging artificial intelligence to achieve a strategic advantage in 5G.
“But being AI-native requires more than optimization of existing business processes or workflow overlays. It demands that the role of employees across all functions evolves in partnership with the technology as well,” Blum noted.
Darryn Lowe, a Bain & Company partner in the Communications, Media, and Entertainment group said that in the coming years, winning telcos will be those that use 5G and other high-stakes business areas as a proving ground for the deeper AI capabilities they need to maintain competitiveness.