The total number of 5G connections will reach 1.5 billion globally by 2025, rising from only 5 million in 2019. This is an annual average growth of 150 per cent over the next 6 years.

The figures are contained in a new report from Juniper Research.

The new research, 5G Networks in IoT: Sector Analysis & Impact Assessment 2020-2025, anticipated that revenue from these 5G connections is a highly sought-after new revenue stream for operators.

It forecasts that 5G IoT connections must be considered as new connections that will not cannibalise existing operator connectivity revenue from current IoT technologies.

The research urges operators to develop comprehensive value-added services to enable IoT service users to manage their 5G connections. It forecasts that tools, such as network slicing and multi-access edge computing solutions, will be essential to attract the highest spending IoT service users to use their 5G networks.

The research also forecasts that valued-added services will become crucial in the automotive and smart cities sectors. It predicts these sectors would account for 70 per cent of all 5G IoT connections by 2025, with higher than anticipated levels of device support for 5G radios accelerating the uptake of 5G connectivity.

The research claimed that the initial high pricing of 5G connectivity in the IoT sector would dissuade all but high value IoT users. It urged operators to roll out holistic network management tools that complement the enhanced capabilities of 5G networks for IoT capabilities.

Research author Andrew Knighton said, “Management tools for the newly-enabled services are key for users managing large scale deployments. We believe that only 5 per cent of 5G connections will be attributable to the IoT, but as these are newly enabled connections, operators must view them as essential to securing a return on their 5G investment.”

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