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5G in China: the enterprise story

More than another G of speed?

Does 5G provide an impetus for a new enterprise and industrial story? If so, which vertical sectors of the economy have the highest potential? Much of the hype so far has focused on consumer applications - but enterprise is the larger opportunity given the nascent but inexorable digital transformation of large swathes of advanced – and in some cases emerging – economies.

This latest report from GSMA Intelligence addresses the potential of 5G in serving vertical use cases. The focus is on China, given that it is among the leading countries in product testing, has an economy capable of rapid structural change and a government intent on establishing global leadership in technological innovation.

To narrow the scope and allow for detailed analysis, our focus is on three verticals: automotive and autonomous driving; drones; and manufacturing and Industry 4.0 transformation. For each vertical, we profile the global context before analysing prospects in China for use-case deployments, 5G versus alternative technologies in serving the use case, and what the revenue model could look like for telecoms operators. The final section provides implications and recommendations for public policymakers.

The report forms part of a publication series on 5G from GSMA Intelligence to shine a light on developments and complement higher-level research globally. Our focus is on early-adopter markets with large populations, economic power and high levels of technological advancement: China, Japan, Korea and the US. While these will not be the first countries to launch 5G, developments and performance will be closely watched by operators, vendors, internet companies and governments in other regions.

This report has been produced in partnership with GTI and is informed by survey responses and interviews with senior executives from each of the three Chinese mobile operators in April 2018 as well as observations from trials in partnership with companies from other industries.

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