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Press Release

New Research Shares Manufacturers are Redefining Industrial Operations with Connectivity Solutions

Survey explored the adoption of different connectivity avenues, best practices, and use cases with input from 172 U.S.-based mid to large-Cap manufacturing companies

Arlington, VA – May 16, 2024 – According to new research, “Connectivity – A Critical Differentiator for Digital Transformation,” by Manufacturers Alliance Foundation and Verizon Business, the manufacturing sector is witnessing a shift as companies embrace 5G connectivity to progress their digital transformation journey. Central to this digital-forward movement is the growth of private 5G networks, offering manufacturers control and customization over their connectivity infrastructure. By utilizing private 5G networks, manufacturers can optimize operations, enhance efficiency, and explore novel revenue streams, propelling the industry into uncharted territory.

The recent research surveyed 172 U.S.-based mid to large-Cap manufacturing companies on the adoption of different connectivity avenues, best practices, and use cases.

With 16% of manufacturers poised to transition to 4G LTE or 5G within the next three years, an eight-fold increase from the 2% that rely primarily on cellular connectivity today, the landscape of industrial connectivity is looking for a new path strong enough to weather the next disruption.

"Successful manufacturers are capitalizing on digital transformation to push forward, and time and time again we’ve heard that connectivity emerges as a cornerstone of their success," says Stephen Gold, President of Manufacturers Alliance Foundation. "By embracing technology like 5G, manufacturers obviously believe they can chart a course towards enhanced operational efficiency, heightened competitiveness, and sustained growth."

About half of surveyed manufacturers are invested in wireless connectivity with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and 45% expect that 5G specifically will have the largest impact on manufacturing connectivity in the next three to five years, outpacing all other wireless technologies. Most manufacturers are continuing to deploy a mix of networks (wired, Wi-Fi, 5G) and making long-overdue technology investments to strengthen their digital backbone. Our respondents noted the diligent need for staffing with the understanding of the capabilities and needs of latest connectivity options in IT and operations.

“Manufacturers are increasingly aware of how fast, reliable connectivity can deliver improved functionality and efficiencies.  As their knowledge expands, so do the envisioned opportunities and use cases. This report reveals a clear desire to develop expertise with 5G in manufacturing operations in order to extract more value for the business and the customer, while keeping up with the ever-increasing shift to digital,” added Mike Weller, Practice Leader for Manufacturing, Energy, and Utilities at Verizon Business.