Industry in southern Asia-Pacific is gearing up for the launch of 5G in 2020,
according to a new survey by MIT Technology Review Insights
Singapore, 12th November 2018 – A new report by MIT Technology Review Insights in association with Huawei, finds that digital transformation in
Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand is already heavily underway particularly in
terms of internal systems, products, and services. The digitalization of manufacturing and supply chains is lagging, but
will be substantially accelerated by the launch of 5G.
The report, From follower to leader: Digital transformation and the road to 5G, is based on a multi-industry survey of senior technology executives across the six Asia-Pacific markets as well as
expert interviews. It examines how companies are deploying Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies such as
cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, robotics, blockchain, and virtual and augmented reality, as well as
preparing for the opportunities that will open up through 5G. Key findings include:
• Companies are already making strong progress with digital transformation in internal systems, products, and services.
Cloud and IoT are the most established 4IR technologies, with 29% and 34% of respondents having already deployed these
for one year.
• Improving customer experience is the single biggest driver of technology adoption across the region, followed by
increasing the speed of decision-making and increasing operational agility. The high cost of deployment is the number
one challenge to further digitalization.
• 5G is expected sooner rather than later. Two-thirds of respondents report that there are active conversations taking
place inside their organizations about the future impact of 5G, yet only 46% say that there is a good understanding of
the benefits that 5G will bring. Nevertheless, 65% expect 5G to be available in 2020, with a further 18% anticipating
2021 as a more likely date.
• Collaboration and ecosystem development will further fuel digital transformation. Only 35% of respondents believe that
there is sufficient infrastructure in terms of regulation, connectivity, and public services to support further
digitalization, which shows there is more to be done.
• Some 82% of survey respondents think infrastructure upgrade costs are the key 5G hurdle that telecom operators will
need to overcome, yet 83% believe that telecoms will take the lead in the future 5G ecosystem. A further 70% feel that
governments should create a collaborative environment for 5G.
“This survey finds that executives in Asia-Pacific are bullish on new technology, with the majority having plans to
launch either AI, automation, or IoT within a year,” says Claire Beatty, editor of the report. “They also have high
expectations that 5G will be available within the next two years, and that the manufacturing, financial services and
automotive sectors will benefit the most.”