Operators’ focus on 5G has shifted from viewing it as a disruptive technology to embracing it as a central part of their strategy.
In its 5G-IoT report, “The guide to capturing the 5G industry digitalisation business potential”, Ericsson delves into how operators can potentially grow revenues up to 36% by addressing 10 key sectors.

The previous 5G Business Potential report found that operators can add a revenue of $204-billion to $619-billion (12% to 36%) to their forecast service revenues of $1,7-trillion in 2026. They can do this by targeting the digital transformation of other industries, such as automotive and manufacturing, using 5G-IoT technology.

Ericsson examined more than 400 industry digitalization use cases across 10 industries: energy & utilities; manufacturing; public safety; healthcare; public transport; media and entertainment; automotive; financial services; retail and agriculture. Of the 400 use cases, over 200 are where 5G is expected to play a vital role. These were grouped into clusters to boost revenue opportunities and overcome deployment challenges.

Through extensive operator engagements and a carefully chosen analytical framework, Ericsson created a comprehensive guide for operators to address a range of challenges. The report also highlights how use cases can be evolved to reach the full 5G-enabled industry digitalization business potential. Lastly, the report looks at various operator initiatives and shares some of the lessons learned so far.

Digitalisation revenues for ICT players between 2016 and 2026 are set to grow by 13,6% annually, while current operator service revenue growth is forecast at 1,5%. As 5G becomes increasingly vital to industries, there is a rise in the opportunity for new 5G-enabled revenues for operators.

Of the total 5G-enabled value in 2026, up to 47% is addressable by operators. Through the evolution of use cases and clusters, operators can already begin to maximize the possibilities of 5G-IoT and industry digitalization to capture their full business potential.

Ericsson has identified nine clusters covering almost 90% of the addressable 5G business potential opportunity. Real-time automation is the largest cluster, with a revenue potential of $101-billion by 2026. Enhanced video services are a close second, with revenue potential of $96-billion by the same year.

Thomas Noren, head of 5G commercialisation at Ericsson, says: “Our case studies have shown that operators employ strategic and operational activities to address challenges facing the success of their offerings. Even though they’re not yet 5G offerings, these activities – such as go-to-market channels and trial and experimentation – will be equally important, if not more, when evolved towards 5G.”