Manufacturers will have 49M 5G connections in 2030, ABI says

One of the most popular private 5G use cases involves a factory setting where manufacturing processes are automated by using autonomous robots.  A new ABI Research report supports that use case and predicts that by 2030 manufacturing and industrial firms worldwide will have more than 49 million 5G connections inside their facilities and generate $2.4 billion in global connections revenue for suppliers.

However, ABI said that the reason there hasn’t been a greater uptake 5G private wireless by manufacturers is due to a dearth of 5G industrial devices. Device makers, discouraged by the slow uptake of 5G private networks, are instead making converged devices that support Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G.

Indeed, a June 2022 report from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) found that of the 794 organizations that it tracks that have deployed a private wireless network, 76% have deployed LTE instead of 5G.  

ABI Industrial and Manufacturing Research Director Michael Larner recommends that to resolve this issue suppliers need to educate their customers on the advantages of 5G and show them how 5G can upgrade their operations.

In addition, Larner noted that while 5G’s network performance will improve customers’ operations, manufacturers will also need to invest in other technologies such as edge networking, data management and data analytics to receive the full benefits of deploying a 5G private network.

The link between 5G private wireless and mobile edge compute is strong. Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg recently referred to private networks as the “gateway” to mobile edge compute.  “Private networks are the gateway to mobile edge compute, which can deliver game-changing customer outcomes, including revenue growth, new customer experience and cost savings,” Vestberg said during Verizon’s 2Q 2022 earnings call.