Research: What 5G means for edge computing

A recent TechRepublic Premium poll reveals that edge computing adoption will increase through 2026, but organizations are taking a wait-and-see approach before introducing 5G into the mix.

5G promises high-bandwidth and low-latency wireless data transmission. The tech will also play a crucial role in connecting edge devices to the cloud. Ultimately, the combination of 5G and edge computing is poised to benefit the enterprise. 

How committed–or prepared–is the enterprise to marry these two technologies? That was what ZDNet’s sister site, TechRepublic Premium, wanted to find out. 

SEE: Edge computing adoption to increase through 2026; organizations cautious about adding 5G to the mix  (TechRepublic Premium)

TechRepublic Premium conducted an online survey to learn more about how organizations will make 5G part of their edge computing plans. Respondents answered questions about the types of edge computing and 5G technologies their companies currently use or plan to use in the next year and for what business purposes and applications they are using edge computing. Respondents also reported how 5G would affect their company’s edge computing usage in the next five years.

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More than half of respondents (54%) use remote mobile devices and laptops and remote servers and networks (50%) as part of their edge computing strategy. Operating software and systems locally deployed away from headquarters (37%), remote asset monitoring (27%), content delivery networks (21%), virtualized mobile networks (12%), IoT applications (8%), and autonomous vehicles (5%) were edge computing technologies also noted by respondents.

Remote servers and networks and remote mobile devices and laptops tied for the top spot in edge computing technologies that respondents want to roll out in the next 12 months, at 42%. 

Currently, 30% of respondents’ companies do not use any edge computing technologies, and 25% said that their company does not plan to in the near future. 

Of those respondents who do enlist edge computing technology, most (70%) do so to provide better customer experiences, and 46% of respondents engage edge computing technologies to reduce operational costs. 

Despite the increase in adoption of edge computing, 5G acceptance still lags in respondent organizations. More than half (57%) of respondents reported are neither using, nor plan to use 5G technology. 

SEE: Edge computing adoption to increase through 2026; organizations cautious about adding 5G to the mix  (TechRepublic Premium)

However, 5G will affect some companies’ future use of edge computing. Thirty-one percent of respondents will adopt or plan to adopt edge computing technologies within the next five years. Almost one-quarter of respondents reported using more edge computing technologies in the coming years. 

Only 13% of respondents said that 5G will not affect their use of edge computing, while 9% said they will begin adopting edge computing technologies but have not yet planned to do so.

The infographic below contains selected details from the research. To read more findings and analysis, download the full report: Edge computing adoption to increase through 2026; organizations cautious about adding 5G to the mix.


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