Because of new demands for connectivity, flexibility and reliability brought on by the pandemic, investment and interest in 5G technology will continue to increase post-COVID-19, according to a study released Nov. 17 by IHS Markit in partnership with Qualcomm and Omdia.
This will be especially important for the auto industry as more vehicles become connected. It will also have implications for autonomous vehicle applications.
Although the pandemic created "significant supply chain interruptions that stymied the expanded rollout of 5G," this will be a short-term delay, according to IHS.
Instead, IHS expects that from 2020 to 2035, the collective investment in R&D and capital expenditures by firms that are part of the 5G value chain—including auto maker device manufacturers and other providers of core technologies and components—within the seven countries studied will average over $260 billion annually.
IHS expects an 11 percent net increase in global 5G investment and R&D during that 15-year span compared with the 2019 forecast.
This is even though economic growth rates by 2035 will be lower and gross sales levels will be about 2.8 percent lower than pre-pandemic forecasts from 2019.
IHS also said that "emerging use cases for 5G, including need to support increasing numbers of individuals working and schooling from home, are expected to drive 5G investment moving forward."
Among the many industry sectors that are expected to be impacted the most by 5G use cases are manufacturing, information and communication, and wholesale and retail.
"The 5G economy in a post-COVID era is even more robust," Karen Campbell, associate director of research at IHS Markit Economics, said in a briefing Nov. 16.