5G is one of the most topical and controversial topics of this present age. If I were to get into the controversial side I would need several articles to break down some things. It is a fascinating discussion but that is not my focus today. Today I want to focus on 5G business opportunities. I do appreciate that 5G is still in its formative stages here in Zimbabwe. On the 24th of February 2022, Econet became the first mobile network operator (MNO) in Zimbabwe to set up a 5G base station in Avondale, Harare. Regardless, let us look at some 5G business opportunities.

Automation Services

Automation shall always be a constant, especially in this fourth industrial revolution (4IR). There is an increasing demand for automation and which often limits that data speeds. Thanks to 5G there are about to be more avenues opened in the domain of automation. For instance, AI and robotics can become faster and more efficient due to faster network speeds made possible by 5G. This makes me think of the movie Eagle Eye. When the movie was released in 2008 most of the things in the movie seemed impossible. I recall in particular the junkyard scene where everything could be controlled using robotics. Such things can now be possible due to 5G networks. Making 5G-powered automation systems or machinery will be a big business moving forward. Countless businesses and startups are eagerly looking for such innovations.

Data Science Services

5G will enhance the efficiency of the data science process and in the process produce lots of business opportunities. The data science process entails the collection, cleaning, exploratory data analysis, model building, and model deployment. Many businesses or startups are looking to adopt systems that can enable them to do that in real-time. This is because being data-driven is now one of the biggest drivers of business or startup growth. It enables enterprises to be able to note crucial insights and make informed decisions accurately, in real-time. I foresee many business opportunities arising in Zimbabwe in the field of data science services. This, in turn, will create so many employment opportunities for Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Data Scientists, and Machine Learning Engineers. This will all be thanks to 5G augmenting data sciences in Zimbabwe.

Internet of Things (IoT) Services

I have dealt with the subject of IoT before. I once discussed what IoT is and I once did an article on IoT applications in agriculture. 5G enhances the use of IoT services for personal, corporate, and industrial use amongst others. Enterprising people can come up with IoT services where they can install IoT systems. This can be for a company, a home, an organisation, and so on. This can also involve consultancy work where you can offer your expertise in IoT systems. This also reminds me of IoMT – the internet of medical things. The 5G IoMT systems can be implemented to revolutionize consultations, surgeries, and other critical procedures.

Customer Experience Services

There are vast business opportunities 5G presents about customer experiences. Customer experience is the collective summation of all the cognitive, sensory, affective, and behavioural responses from customers throughout the stages of pre-purchase, consumption, and post-purchase. Enterprises that can provide the best customer experiences are the ones that excel. Thus advancements in providing the best customer experiences will be in demand moving forward.

Therein is a business opportunity for those who can innovate to come up with 5G-powered customer experience services. These can be tailor-made for a respective enterprise or one can develop them for enterprises to buy outright or to purchase a license of use. Just a quick example, because of 5G it can be easy to come up with virtual or augmented reality experiences for customers to view what is in stock remotely.

Online Gaming And Animation

Gaming is a huge global industry – well over US$200 billion in value. One of the areas that are cutting edge is online gaming. Programmers who can come up with online games tailored for 5G usage will make money. Such games will be so smooth that there will be no latency issues. It will also be much more possible to make games that are almost indistinguishable from reality. The same goes for the field of animation – in gaming and other areas such as films. Virtual or augmented reality is the next big frontier of the gaming industry and 5G makes that much easier. All in all, there are infinite opportunities to make money from gaming and animation via the use of 5G.

We still have some work to do if you are to significantly harness the power of 5G in Zimbabwe. We still have to digitize how we do things, especially in small to medium enterprises. There is also a need to adopt more cloud-based approaches. We need to step up our data security capacity. Most importantly, we still need to upgrade our internet infrastructure. We cannot even begin to talk of mainstream use of 5G when the infrastructure is not quite there. All the same, the business opportunities 5G presents are colossal.