SOUTH-EAST Asia’s services sectors could get the greatest lift from digitalisation by fifth-generation (5G) mobile technology, a new report from consultancy A.T. Kearney has said.
The region is headed for 5G-led industry gains of as much as US$147 billion in 2025, with about US$81 billion of that value - or more than half - coming from service industries such as trade, transport and financial services buoyed by the use of artificial intelligence tools.
Meanwhile, Asean manufacturing could add US$59 billion in value, led by the Internet of Things (IoT), and agriculture may bring in an extra US$7 billion on advanced robotics roll-outs.
“5G will be an important infrastructure to support the wide deployment of Industry 4.0 technologies and drive enterprise digitalisation,” said the report.
The authors wrote that much of the growth will come from the use of IoT, starting with basic methods “such as remote monitoring of production assets in manufacturing, tracking material and products in the logistics sector, and monitoring livestock or production in agriculture”.
“In the medium to long term, advanced IoT use cases requiring low latency and high reliability will become prominent, especially across manufacturing and services,” they elaborated.
“Remote robotics and assistive robots in manufacturing, collaborative robots in retail, and autonomous drones in service industries are a few examples of such advanced use cases.”
Indonesia, which is Asean’s biggest market, has the most potential for 5G-related growth, on the back of the size of its manufacturing and services industries, the high number of data users, and a low fixed broadband market that is open to taking up 5G-enabled fixed wireless access.
But A.T. Kearney partner Nikolai Dobberstein, one of the report’s authors, warned in a press statement: “To live up to the full potential, the region will need to address the main challenges…
“Among the key issues that regulators would need to take the lead on are: ensuring near-term spectrum availability, fostering infrastructure sharing and nurturing the development of national cyber security capabilities across the region.”