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MEF’s latest IoT survey has the goal of increasing knowledge around current enterprise IoT usage and plans for the future – segmented by sector, geography and enterprise size. Report author Andrew Parkin-White shares some of the key findings.

MEF has spoken to 450 enterprises in nine countries that already use IoT. We asked them about their plans around 5G. It made for interesting reading. Around 3% of the enterprises surveyed are already using 5G and a further 66% of enterprises are evaluating or have active plans for 5G in their IoT for the future deployments.

If we look at the picture from a sector specific standpoint, we see some marked differences in the likelihood to adopt and deploy 5G. The chart below shows the sectors we spoke to and their plans around 5G deployments.

The enterprises already using 5G are most predominant in Automotive Manufacture and Systems at 5%, given this sector’s greater need for the specific benefits of 5G. Manufacturing has also seen a take up of 4%. Overall, 66% of companies, have active plans to use 5G for IoT or are already evaluating it. In the Utilities sector, this is the case for 76% of the organisations surveyed and 70% in Storage, Logistics and Supply Chain. The sectors with least interest in 5G, having no plans at all include Agriculture (15%), Healthcare (12%) and Transportation (12%). In some instances, this is a reflection of the simpler IoT applications used in the sector and this would be the case in Agriculture in particular.

The countries with the highest level of 5G already in use include France (8%), Germany (4%) and USA (4%). The interest in evaluating or having active plans follows a similar pattern with this being the case for 78% of German companies, 73% in the USA,  72% in Spain and 66% in France. Lagging behind, with no 5G deployments, are Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa potentially reflecting a higher degree of implementation in more mature markets.

That is not to say, that there is no interest in 5G in these countries. Brazil has 73% of companies either evaluating or having active plans to use 5G and the figure for India is 70% and 60% in South Africa. Indonesia is the least active in 5G planning where this is the case for 26% of enterprises with 23% having no plans at all.

If we look at the specific benefits that organisations are seeking in 5G, the glo leader is higher bandwidth than existing solutions given an importance score of 4.2 out of 5 by the enterprises surveyed. Virtualisation is the next highest scoring at 4.1. This is the case across all countries.  The ability to offer private networks is seen as very important in 75% of companies followed closely by the ability to have network slicing in 69% of enterprises. One of 5G’s often cited benefits is that of latency. This does not appear to be perceived as one of the main benefits of 5G with a figure of 50% of enterprises giving it an average score of 3.6. That is not to say it is unimportant but less so in relative terms.

Andrew Parkin-White

MEF Advisor


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Market analyst firms confidently predict that we will see over 25bn global IoT connections by 2030. Enterprises account for a significant amount of these connections. MEF and its members really wanted to get under the skin of what is driving this growth and how enterprises are tackling IoT.

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