The hype around 5G is growing. Governments are auctioning off the necessary spectrum; telcos are testing the first 5G networks; handset vendors are announcing the first 5G smartphones; business users are exploring potential 5G use cases; and consumers are seeing media reports about the possibilities of super-fast broadband.

And yet, are you familiar with the core capabilities of 5G? When will these capabilities become available? What are the differences between 5G releases 15, 16, and 17? Do these release cycles matter to your potential 5G use cases? What is 5G network slicing, and what potential does it harbor? Where will 5G coverage be available? What alternative connectivity technologies are available? Which vendors are involved in providing 5G? What are the costs involved in embracing 5G-based use cases, and what kind of ROI could you expect?

As 5G gains momentum, you will need to consider many issues in order to help define the 5G strategy at your organization. While 5G will have big implications for your approach to network operations management, it will have bigger ramifications for your business. It will open up new possibilities for product and service differentiation and innovation — and for the shift from a product mindset to a service and experience one.

5G is unlike previous cellular broadband network standards in several respects: The introduction of 5G will be more gradual and take place over a longer period; the role of software in the network is increasing, and the relevancy of the API for service designers is taking on a central role; 5G will raise the potential for industry-campus cellular networks; and business and technology leaders will need to be closely aligned to define relevant 5G use cases and fully exploit the potential that 5G offers.

The Forrester report, “The CIO’s Guide To 5G Connectivity And Strategy,” helps CIOs, CTOs, and business leaders get a better handle on the key issues that define the 5G evolution — and helps you define a coherent and comprehensive 5G strategy. It is the first in a series of 5G-focused reports that Forrester will publish in the coming months.

You can also sign up to the related 5G webinar.