What Does 5G Mean for the Future of Enterprises? Inspiration from Honeywell, IBM and Vodafone

Chris Jang

As Asia-Pacific continues to be a big spender on 5G technology adoption, the region is expected to take up 65% of global 5G subscriptions by 2024.[1] We have seen the rapid expansion of 5G networks, bringing a positive impact to the global economy as it accelerates digitalization and further supports those enterprises embarking on their digital transformation journeys.

During one of our recent fireside chats, we conducted a poll with our audience. The result came as no surprise—over 63% of the audience recognized faster data speed, higher device capacity and spectrum brand, high-speed remote networking and intelligent internet of things (IoT) adoption as the key business benefits of 5G. However, how much do business decision-makers know about 5G and how prepared are they to capitalize on the opportunities it presents?

How will 5G Transform Enterprises in Asia-Pacific?

Download the recording of our Executive Virtual Fireside Chat, How will 5G Transform Enterprises in Asia-Pacific?, hosted by international news anchor, Oriel Morrison. This timely discussion features key industry leaders who share their insights on the future of 5G innovation in enterprise IT.

Download the Virtual Fireside Chat
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5G has only just begun  

As the first generation of wireless communications built to handle advanced enterprise services, it’s not an overstatement to compare the impact of 5G to that of the industrial revolution. Compared to previous wireless networking generations, 5G supports significantly higher data rates (with peak downlink data rates of up to 20 Gbps), lower latency (1 ms one-way latency on the air interface), more concurrently connected devices (up to 1M devices/km2), improved mobility (up to 500 km/h) as well as better network energy efficiency.

All of these characteristics help make it the perfect backbone for the latest ‘sci-fi’ style innovations, such as autonomous driving, smart cities, connected healthcare and industrial internet of things (IoT). While we have seen several pilot programs of these new technologies already, the evolution of 5G will be a key catalyst to the wider adoption and rollout of these industry changing ideas. As pointed out by Mr. Kelvin Chin, Regional Vice President of Honeywell Industrial Cybersecurity, JPAC, during our fireside chat, “The real revolutionary leap of 5G lies in the next phase, with a complete virtualized 5G core network instead of 5G radio access powered by the existing 4G network.”

The journey from cloud to edge

5G isn’t simply the same evolution we saw from 3G to 4G; this is a far greater leap that represents the ability to deliver far more advanced technologies and use cases. A true 5G network will help boost cloud-based infrastructure, software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), improving agility and lowering the cost of deployment. Many of today’s applications require real-time responsiveness and are increasingly latency sensitive, meaning they require more bandwidth, secure storage and faster data processing capabilities at the edge, closer to sources of data creation and consumption.

Thanks to 5G, virtualized infrastructures can be deployed adjacent to interconnection points in major metros to support use cases at the edge, such as IoT, AR/VR, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). As Mr. Rob F. Van den Dam, the Global Industry Leader, Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment (TME), IBM Institute for Business Value, pointed out during our session, “Without edge computing, enterprises have to rely on connections to a centralized cloud resource for storage and computing, which will counter the benefits of lower latency brought by 5G.”

Managing exponential data growth

According to Gartner, two-thirds of organizations intend to deploy 5G by 2020.[2] Many of the applications being made possible by 5G require the network infrastructure to transfer, analyze and store all the data being generated by IoT, AI, machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. With the huge volume of data being created, enterprise data management and security will be critical. If the data is securely stored and analyzed in the right way, it will form a critical part of how businesses approach network planning, operations and optimization in the future.

Using a healthcare use case as an example, Ms. Nadya Melic, VP – Head of Customer Solutions, Vodafone Business, Asia-Pacific, noted that secure access to data intelligence is absolutely crucial. “People in the industry need data at their fingertips to do their jobs properly.”

Some people have called data the ‘new oil’ of the digital world; however, if you can’t store, analyze or gain intelligence from it, then all this data is only a basic commodity with little value. This drives demand for interconnection—the direct and private data exchange between businesses. Bypassing the public internet, companies are able to achieve edge-based data processing resources and analytics (on-premises and cloud), protect their data and maintain regulatory compliance in a 5G world.

5G is not a lone journey

Just a decade ago, cloud-based networking was only considered a business imperative for a niche sub-set of companies, yet now deploying cloud-based services and applications is on the agenda of every large corporation. With the massive data explosion that 5G will facilitate, now is a critical time for businesses to re-evaluate their infrastructure, while at the same time, look at their resources, skillsets and investments in IT architecture.

Equinix’s global footprint is designed for businesses looking to develop the network infrastructure they need to maximize the benefits of 5G. With over 210 data centers across 56 metros, Equinix gives businesses the ability to compete at the digital edge everywhere they need to be. Leveraging Platform Equinix®, businesses can quickly, seamlessly and securely connect endpoints within data centers and data center campuses, making real-time data exchange and analytics possible.

Equinix’s broad product portfolio also enables businesses to scale presence and capabilities globally in the age of 5G with ease. Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric® (ECX Fabric®) directly, and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems of clouds, networks and businesses. This one-to-many model was created to provide businesses with a suite of vendors and partners along with access to the latest and most advanced technologies. In addition, it enables businesses to modernize their networks virtually, within minutes, by deploying NFV, meaning enterprises can easily implement services where and when needed—particularly efficient in meeting many of today’s distributed IT and edge computing requirements.

Are you looking to take your business to a new level with 5G? Check out the fireside chat to learn more about how this technology can support you in transforming your infrastructure and getting the speed and flexibility you need to unlock the new opportunities in this digital era.

 

 

[1] https://www.globaldata.com/asia-pacific-will-lead-5g-technology-adoption-2024-says-globaldata/ 

[2]https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-12-18-gartner-survey-reveals-two-thirds-of-organizations-in