5G Private Networks in Asia-Pacific: A US$13.5 Billion Opportunity Spurred by Digitalization

By the mid-point of 2022, at least five Asia-Pacific countries (China, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and Singapore) had achieved more than 50% 5G coverage for their respective populations. Each of these countries has seen strong governmental backing in the form of lowering the barrier to entry for obtaining 5G spectrum, grants for 5G enterprise deployments, government-led 5G trials/tests, and 5G policy plans that outline defined targets. In the Asia-Pacific countries where 5G is readily available, 5G-to-Business (5GtoB) developments are significant across a variety of enterprise verticals. Organizations that deploy 5G capabilities are reaping the benefits of improved productivity and reduced costs. While our Asia-Pacific 5G-to-Business Developments and Outlook research report looks at seven key enterprise verticals, this Research Highlight inspects four of those verticals: logistics, manufacturing, media & entertainment, and utilities.

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Market Overview

  • The total 5G private network deployment revenue opportunity in Asia-Pacific will reach US$13.5 billion annually in 2028, up from US$732 million in 2022 (a CAGR of 63%). This means the Asia-Pacific region is expected to generate 70% of global private 5G network revenue.
  • Within the private 5G cellular space, manufacturing is projected to be the enterprise vertical with the highest revenue potential for 5GtoB in Asia-Pacific, with revenue increasing from US$141 million in 2022 to US$5.1 billion in 2028 (a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 82%).
  • Stadiums & event locations, the second-largest private 5G network deployment market opportunity in Asia-Pacific, will experience a CAGR of 37%, increasing revenue from US$552.1 million in 2022 to US$3.6 billion in 2028.
  • By 2028, the revenue opportunities for the energy generation and healthcare verticals will be US$1.6 billion and US$1.3 billion, respectively.
  • For the 5G public network space (with network slicing), the logistics vertical is forecast to be the highest contributor to revenue, growing from US$14.6 million in 2022 to US$3.4 billion in 2028 (a CAGR of 148%).
  • In the Asia-Pacific region, ABI Research forecasts that the growth of 5G Network Slicing (NS) revenue will increase from US$151 million in 2022 to US$12.6 billion in 2028 (a CAGR of 109%). The logistics and manufacturing verticals will lead the way for NS revenue—US$3.5 billion and US$3 billion, respectively, in 2028.
  • China accounts for 91% of the estimated 571 million 5G subscriptions in Asia-Pacific.

“While the 5GtoB market is currently driven by several key countries, such as China, South Korea, and Japan, ABI Research expects there to be a large opportunity for 5GtoB growth in Asia-Pacific as more countries like India begin to roll out their 5G networks and more CSPs in Asia-Pacific deploy 5G SA networks. With strong and continued government support for 5G adoption in the region, there is a generally healthy outlook for 5GtoB developments in the Asia-Pacific region for the next few years.” – Matthias Foo, Industry Analyst at ABI Research

Reference the chart below to see our latest forecast for 5G private network deployment revenue by vertical (2022-2028).

Chart that forecasts revenue for 5G private networks in the Asia-Pacific region between 2022 and 2028.

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Key Decision Items

Understand the Three Main 5G Connectivity Scenarios

The three main 5G connectivity scenarios identified by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), and Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC). These technological capabilities serve a wide range of 5G use cases in the consumer and enterprise segments.

  • mMTC: Helps provide reliable connectivity in an economical way to a larger number of small Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) devices and modules that do not transmit a large amount of data traffic across a wide area without overloading the network. Moreover, mMTC spurs new revenue opportunities through as-a-Service (aaS) business models, increasing 5G efficiencies, and lowering costs via automated data collection from sensors.
  • URLLC: A huge factor in introducing near real-time use cases for enterprise sectors. The hallmarks of URLLC are robust reliability and latency rates (the End-to-End (E2E) waiting time from the moment the data packet is generated to when it is received at its intended destination) of 1 Millisecond (ms).
  • eMBB: Excels in use cases where mobile devices, wearables, laptops, MBB devices, etc. require high rates of data across a large coverage area. Data-intensive applications under 5G eMBB include 4K/8K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) videos, Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), cloud gaming, and enhanced mobile media.

While these are the three main 5G connectivity scenarios, there are others to be mindful of, such as the deployment of Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), private 5G networks, and the Network Slicing (NS) capability of 5G.

Using 5G for Logistics in Asia-Pacific

In logistics, 5G network capabilities can be leveraged for high-throughput data transfers, low-latency connectivity, and better network coverage and reliability at traditional distribution centers like ports, warehouses, and depots. 5G deployments support logistics personnel in the Asia-Pacific region with a number of use cases, such as automated processes, remote operations, real-time asset monitoring, and fully-fledged IoT ecosystems like smart ports and smart warehouses. Given the supply chain issues (e.g., labor shortages) catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 5GtoB is all the more important as companies look to make their supply chains more resilient.

Below are a handful of 5GtoB applications in logistics in the short, medium, and long term in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Short Term (6 months to 1 year): Asset tracking, quality control, and route optimization
  • Medium Term (1 to 3 years): Drone delivery, E2E supply chain tracking, ad remote warehouse control
  • Long Term (> 3 years): Autonomous deliveries, vision picking, and smart ports

Using 5G for Manufacturing in Asia-Pacific

Across the Asia-Pacific region, notably in China, manufacturers are dealing with a multitude of macro-trends. The top of that list includes manpower resource shortages, increases in customer demand for customized products, and global competitive pressures for efficient manufacturing. These pressures have forced manufacturers in Asia-Pacific to consider deploying more automated systems, novel production methods for customized production, and other digital transformation technologies.

For example, LG’s Smart Park facility in South Korea reduced the cost of defective product returns by 70.% after using a 5G-enabled digital twin solution. The manufacturing facility also deploys Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and robots, each of which relies on 5G capabilities.

Below are some 5GtoB applications in manufacturing in the short, medium, and long term in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Short Term (6 months to 1 year): Video surveillance, predictive maintenance, and process automation
  • Medium Term (1 to 3 years): Remote operations, drone inspection, and Collaborative Robots (cobots)
  • Long Term (> 3 years): AR repairs, VR digital twins, and dynamic production

Using 5G for Media & Entertainment in Asia-Pacific

To achieve a smoother and more immersive user experience, 5G’s eMBB, mMTC, and URLLC capabilities are being deployed across the Asia-Pacific region. These media & entertainment 5G applications revolve around experiences that necessitate low latency and high bandwidth. Examples of these 5G-enhanced experiences include cloud gaming, real-time UHD video streaming, Video on Demand (VOD), and Extended Reality (XR). As a real-world example of 5G used in Asia-Pacific, the China Media Group (CMG) used 5G to deliver a live 4K/8K UHD resolution broadcast of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Network slicing and MEC can also ensure user experiences are customized to a high degree, improve immersion, and accomplished this at scale with lower costs.

Below are several 5GtoB applications in logistics in the short, medium, and long term in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Short Term (6 months to 1 year): Emergency broadcast, immersive video, and smart theater
  • Medium Term (1 to 3 years): Cloud gaming, live reporting, and e-marketing
  • Long Term (> 3 years): Game streaming platform, remote production, and in-car entertainment

Using 5G for Utilities in Asia-Pacific

The Asia-Pacific utilities industry (e.g., electricity, water, etc.) can put 5G network capabilities to use for high-throughput data transfers, low-latency connectivity, and greater location coverage and reliability within the various utility facilities. When combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G deployments facilitate a variety of use cases, such as real-time infrastructure management, remote operations, and the widespread implementation of IoT devices and sensors to monitor critical systems.

To illustrate, Australian utility company Endeavour Energy teamed up with Optus, Amazon Web Service (AWS), and Unleash live to deploy a 5G solution. This 5G deployment aims for expedient detection enablement of network damage caused by storms, fires, and other natural disasters. Endeavour Energy’s 5G network involves drones with installed cameras that stream real-time UHD video footage of damaged equipment back to control centers so that repair crews can respond in short order. The solution can also identify faulty equipment and then remotely alert workers of issues. Consequently, this predictive maintenance helps prevent costly blackouts.

The bullet list below includes some 5GtoB applications in logistics in the short, medium, and long term in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Short Term (6 months to 1 year): Smart wearables (track employee on-site location), drone inspection, and infrastructure management (energy efficiency)
  • Medium Term (1 to 3 years): Domestic smart meter, remote monitoring, and storm water management
  • Long Term (> 3 years): Training and maintenance (XR and AR), leakage detection, and smart grid.

Key Market Players to Watch

Dig Deeper for the Full Picture

To learn more about how enterprise 5G solutions are being deployed across the Asia-Pacific region—including three more verticals—download ABI Research’s Asia-Pacific 5G-to-Business Developments and Outlook research report.

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This content is part of the company’s 5G Markets Research Service.

A research report on Asia-Pacific 5G-to-Business (5GtoB) developments and market outlook