Careful, M’sia: Don’t fall behind on the 5G and Wi Fi 6 wave

GLOBAL enterprises are pouring investments to next-generation wireless technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6 since such technologies are already enabling groundbreaking solutions that could revolutionise the future of working.

To obtain a global perspective on the adoption of advanced wireless solutions, and assess attitudes during the pandemic crisis, Deloitte surveyed networking executives who were representing organisations adopting or planning to adopt 5G or Wi-Fi 6.

According to the survey titled ‘Accelerating enterprise innovation and transformation with 5G and Wi-Fi 6’, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred organisations to accelerate investment in wireless networking in hopes to better address current and future disruptions, while also coming up with new solutions and offerings.

From the survey, about half of the respondents expects to boost their wireless networking investment due to the pandemic, while less and a quarter report pullbacks.

Meanwhile, 67% are either running pilots or deploying Wi-Fi 6 solutions, and 58% are doing the same with 5G solutions.

But most of them (81%) believe that these two technologies will be crucial in the next three years.

“A rising sense of urgency, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, is now accelerating the shift to 5G and Wi-Fi 6 far faster across a variety of industries, with executives now seeing advanced wireless networks as increasingly essential to their business plans,” said Deloitte Global Telecommunications media & entertainment leader Kevin Westcott.

“Those enterprises that are making advanced wireless a critical component of their infrastructure and innovation strategies, versus a discrete consideration or an afterthought, will likely experience tremendous growth potential and, accordingly, position themselves to compete more effectively on the world stage,” he added.

Additionally, the survey also highlighted:

  • Eight in 10 surveyed believe advanced wireless will transform their organisation within three years, and seven in 10 believe it will transform their industry in the same time frame.
  • The desire to take advantage of new technologies such as AI, big data analytics, and edge computing is a top driver for advanced wireless adoption (up from #3 in the US study), tied with improving efficiency.
  • At least eight in 10 view advanced wireless as very/extremely important to their organisation’s ability to implement these new technologies.
  • 76% believe their company can create a significant competitive advantage by leveraging advanced wireless.

“The Deloitte survey found adopters are using 5G and Wi-Fi 6 both inside and outside the office for a variety of reasons, but the enhancement of workplace communication, collaboration and productivity is particularly timely and relevant since connectivity is crucial for remote work and business continuity,” said Deloitte Consulting LLP principal Jack Fritz.

Luckily, through the National Digital Infrastructure Plan (Jendela), the Malaysian Government is looking at phasing out 3G, strengthening 4G coverage, which would ultimately transition towards the rolling out of one public 5G network by the end of 2021.

Even now, there is significant interest in areas such as real-time video analytics, enhanced streaming, asset management and fixed wireless access (high bandwidth, low latency, low power consumption and the ability to connect millions of 5G sensors).

“To maintain the country’s competitiveness, the Malaysian government is accelerating the 5G deployments in the country through a “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) that will receive 5G spectra. The SPV will build, operate, and lease 5G infrastructure to telcos by the end of 2021,” concluded Deloitte Malaysia technology, media and telecommunications leader Leonard Woo. – April 19, 2021

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