For example, “imagine in the chemical or oil industry where you need to understand the condition of your equipment or the flow of product,” explains Loozen. “Now you’ll have real-time, connected sensors for humidity, temperature, corrosion, vibration [and more].” Then apply AI, blockchain and other relevant technology “and the system can track precise logistics, predict when maintenance is needed and initiate payments.” Even mechanical elements across entire ecosystems, says Loozen, “become digital.”
Pasanen says apportioning revenue across equipment makers, telecom companies, service bundlers and brands will look “something like the Wild West. Everything will have to sort itself out based on who moves furthest and fastest to create and control value, market position and all of the rest of the elements of competition.” Pasanen says we may not be able to predict precisely everything that is coming, but we can be quite certain that once enterprises understand all that is available and possible, profound and compelling innovation will follow. Overall, he says, “5G will enable societal, business and government advances with greatly reduced friction.”
The rise of end-to-end ecosystems
“Creating value through 5G will require more companies to work together and collaborate more closely,” explains Baschnonga. Similarly, industries will need to work more closely with government officials in areas such as determining standards for smart infrastructure, as well as clarifying and updating data privacy and security rules.
“What we’re starting to see is a more complex value chain,” says Baschnonga. “Overall, fewer, if any, entities will be able to own the customer – or all of the processes and roles that need to come together to deliver the advanced and compelling customer experiences that will be feasible through 5G.”
This end-to-end collaboration is already starting to take place in industries such as agriculture, transportation and medicine. As Pasanen explains, “what we are seeing is that in monetizing interconnected ecosystems such as smart factories and smart agriculture, certain companies are taking a leadership role.”
Businesses will need to work out where they can create value within increasingly complex ecosystems. Improving end-to-end processes will include alliances, partnerships, joint ventures and outsourced relationships. Meanwhile, adds Baschnonga, a lot of this will be unexplored territory. “Businesses will be feeling one another out in terms of who gets paid, and what in which instances. Whose data are we using? How is it being stored and secured?”