Most Asian enterprises see business value in 5G – IDC survey

A new IDC study of Asian enterprise and 5G adoption contains promising news for telcos.

Robert Clark, Contributing Editor, Special to Light Reading

November 2, 2021

3 Min Read
Most Asian enterprises see business value in 5G – IDC survey

A new IDC study of Asian enterprise and 5G adoption contains promising news for telcos.

In a region that has had the greatest exposure to 5G, most businesses recognize the value of the new network because of its speed, agility and scalability, an IDC survey has found. Specifically, 50% to 55% of Asia-Pacific organizations see 5G as superior to previous generations of connectivity because of its higher bandwidth and network flexibility.

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Another 54% pointed to the ability of 5G to connect a huge number of devices and sensors as a key strength, Sandra Ng, vice president of IDC Asia-Pacific's ICT practice, told a company event Tuesday. She said the pandemic had "obviously" made the importance of network resilience very clear.

Standing strong

The IDC survey shows that by 2022, more than half of all Asia-Pac organizations will prioritize network resilience to ensure "uninterrupted additional engagement for customers, employees, partners," she said. For companies like Malaysian resources giant Petronas, facing uncertain network quality across dispersed field operations, 5G connectivity has now become a pillar of digital transformation.

Ng said the top 5G use cases in Asia were the same as the rest of the world, with the biggest, unsurprisingly, being connectivity to devices, both mobile and IoT. Number two was work from home connectivity, where the value of 5G has been demonstrated during the covid crisis, while the third major use case is real-time monitoring and automation to support remote-first operations. The fourth biggest is the edge – the decentralization of data storage and applications.

A further positive sign for 5G is the growing embrace of collaborative working. By 2026, major Asian enterprises will generate around 30% of their revenue from an industry ecosystem of shared data, applications and operations, Ng said.

That's encouraging because collaboration has become the key ingredient for 5G success. Telcos know only through the right partnerships can they create enterprise value from 5G.

Finally, the continued rise of digital transformation and the early markers of its success are also good news for 5G.

Early adopters

Ng says digital transformation, or DX, is becoming the norm in Asian business. Banks are the most enthusiastic adopters, spending up to 20% of revenue on IT, mostly DX-related. In the banking industry, DX would become "business as usual" by the end of 2022, Ng said.

"If you are a bank or a vendor selling to a bank, it is going to be very hard to create competitive advantage without getting new technology," she points out. An IDC analysis across nine different industries found that DX leaders consistently recorded the strongest performance in both topline revenue and bottom-line earnings.

"It doesn't matter which industry – DX leaders outperformed the laggards."

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— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Robert Clark

Contributing Editor, Special to Light Reading

Robert Clark is an independent technology editor and researcher based in Hong Kong. In addition to contributing to Light Reading, he also has his own blog,  Electric Speech ( 

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