TELCO AND INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS are continuing to extend their offerings beyond voice and data, now aided and abetted by upcoming 5G wireless services. While 5G has been on a slow roll, businesses are anxious for the potentially market-disruptive technology nonetheless, according to a new study from IT marketplace Spiceworks.
The research finds that 32 percent of businesses plan to purchase new, 5G-enabled devices after service becomes available in their area. And among those businesses, 55 percent intend to do so within a year of availability. 5G-enabled smartphones are set to lead the movement, with 83 percent of businesses planning to buy, followed by 5G-capable modems (44 percent) and 5G-enabled tablets (42 percent). Also, 7 percent plan to purchase IoT devices built to leverage 5G.
Notably, Spiceworks says that 5G-capable modems, which could be used to connect corporate networks to online services, have the potential to shake up the ISP market: “This new connectivity option could help empower mobile workforces, serve as a high-speed secondary internet connection for disaster recovery purposes, or even entice businesses to move away from legacy connection types.”
5G services will also allow ISPs to extend their reach and offer broadband service “without having to incur last-mile expenses associated with physically connecting homes and businesses,” the study notes.
Further, most businesses surveyed are considering or planning to purchase one or more additional services through their ISP beyond internet connectivity. The top services on that list include VoIP (43 percent), VPN/MPLS (30 percent), mobile data (19 percent), unified communications (18 percent), and SD-WAN (11 percent).
There is some good news for channel pros, though. Enterprises are more likely than SMBs to purchase additional services such as VPN/MPLS, mobile data, unified communications, mobile device management, data storage, and network planning through their ISPs.