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Chart from Deloitte's CXOs and 5G edge networks report.

Next 2 years will be critical for 5G investment: Deloitte

Innovations from this may take a two to three years incubation period.

Investing in 5G edge in the next two years could be critical for business as it will some time from the deployment of a new technology before innovations emerge and start to grow, according to Deloitte.

In a report, Deloitte said innovations that will develop from the adoption of 5G may follow a two-to-three-year incubation period, similar to those from previous wireless generations.

“We expect a similar time lag for 5G application innovation. Those who invest in 5G edge today will likely find themselves at the vanguard of innovation as 5G adoption accelerates and the technology standardises across the globe,” it said.

It cited the adoption of 4G-LTE wherein it covered around 90% of the US population in 2013, a year after its deployment, but some consumers and businesses still questioned its benefits. They had to wait two to three years before the technology was deployed widely.

As it is still a relatively new technology, it will take more time to set up a 5G network, connect devices, and customise them for businesses.

Deloitte added that businesses who are early 5G adopters can gain operational and strategic advantages which cannot be easily copied by competitors who are taking a “wait-and-see approach.”

“The path from technology to business value, in other words, may be longer than with ‘mature’ technologies. But the potential benefits could make it well worth the effort,” it said.

“By the time everyone embraces 5G edge, competitive advantage will become harder to achieve. Caution can be costly,” it added.

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