RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture conducted for the first time in Greece an integrated study on 5G, entitled “Fuel for Innovation: Greece’s Race to 5G”.
  • Greek consumers are aware, optimistic and enthusiastic about the potential of 5G. Security, health and cost-related issues are their top concerns.
  • Greek companies’ leaders across industries recognize the strategic importance of 5G, but they need help to imagine its possibilities and use cases.
  • Our analysis reveals that 5G has the potential to uplift GDP up to $6,27 Bn and to create up to 46.000 new jobs by 2028.


Welcome to the 5G era!

5G, the fifth generation of mobile communication systems, is more than the next generation of cellular and mobile technology and will have a tremendous impact on the way people live and work.

Objectives of our study

This study has been designed to:

  • examine the underlying characteristics and dynamics of new technology along with associated key use cases per sector
  • uncover Greek public’s sentiment and expectations on 5G
  • present the readiness and challenges of Greek Communication Service Providers (CSPs) regarding their strategy for the introduction of 5G networks and services
  • reveal the level of 5G awareness, expectations and readiness of Greek enterprises across all industry sectors
  • estimate the projected economic growth that 5G can infuse to the Greek economy (GDP and employment uplift)
  • define a set of possible actions, measures and initiatives for policy makers and business leaders that can accelerate the market adoption of 5G
"We consider 5G as a key transformation accelerator and a "game-changer" for our country. This was the springboard for us to author this study entitled "Greece’s Race to 5G"."

— Dr. Kyriacos Sabatakakis, Country Managing Director – Accenture

The Public Sentiment towards 5G in Greece

Our research reveals that the level of awareness on 5G is extremely high (92%) among Greek consumers. It is also worth mentioning that 52% agree on the importance of Greece being among the 5G adoption leaders in South East Europe. Consumers are showing interest for a variety of 5G-enabled applications and services, with coverage to rural areas, real-time language translations, remote healthcare, Augmented Reality (AR) in education, seamless 4K or 8K video streaming and Smart Cities to be on the top of this list.

Security is arisen as an important factor. Moreover, 1-10 Gbps internet speeds and combined mobile home broadband bill at a lower bundled price are the two primary motivators for consumers to switch to 5G. Also, although high monthly cost is one of the pain points for consumers, 43% of them are willing to pay a premium for 5G services for an improved communication experience. Finally, high monthly fees, acquisition cost of smartphones and health risks due to electromagnetic exposure are considered the main barriers towards 5G adoption.

Telco’s 5G perception & readiness in Greece

We analysed Greek Telcos’ perception & readiness on 5G through an online survey answered by the 4 main local operators followed by enlightening interviews with C-level executives. Our study confirms a high degree of convergence at telco’s expectations and plans regarding 5G deployment and strategy. All telco players agree that eMBB will be among the first commercially available 5G services. An additional interesting finding is that all of them are also seriously considering a collaboration model in the deployment of network infrastructure. The simplification of the regulatory framework for the licensing of new base stations and the affordable upfront investment cost for the spectrum auction, network updates and deployment are recognized by all operators as the most important challenges to be taken into consideration. Moreover, 3 out of 4 telcos consider security as the biggest technical challenge of 5G launch. Discussing on the main drivers for 5G deployment, all Greek CSPs indicated that the enhanced customer experience is the top reason for 5G roll-out, while capacity expansion and FWA deployment are following.

All CSPs will look at 5G for new business-to-business (B2B) growth opportunities, which falls in line with their expectations for network slicing. Local operators understand that 5G applications and use cases need to be better identified, therefore targeting specific industries should be a crucial aspect of their strategy. The study shows that a variety of different industries will be targeted by CSPs for new revenue opportunities (e.g. tourism, industrial manufacturing, comms & media). All telco players agree that ultra-low latency will be the main advantage that 5G will offer to their leading target industries, while immersive entertainment (AR/VR) and edge computing are expected to be the top 5G capabilities that their leading target industries will use.

In terms of monetization, all CSPs estimate that new revenue opportunities will be presented not only by creating and delivering new services, but also by partnering with new business models on applications, while 75% are expecting guaranteed SLAs to be the main business model targeting 5G monetization for B2B. Regarding the willingness of their leading target industries to pay, only half of the telcos predict that those industries will finally pay more for 5G services.

All operators also think that consumers for 5G services will pay less than 10% as a premium above the existing fixed/mobile service costs; however, they also believe that 5G is not an immediate need for their end customers, therefore CSPs are expecting that consumers will hold back switching to 5G until receiving feedback by early adopters. Last but not least, CSPs consider that the government should launch campaigns to address demand and public concerns with respect to 5G health impacts in order to accelerate the 5G penetration and adoption among Greek consumers.

Industry sectors’ 5G perception & awareness in Greece

We conducted an online survey that was answered by 245 companies within 13 different industries (>30% of total GVA - 275.000 employees). The level of awareness among Greek organizations, regarding 5G features, is remarkably high. At the same time, companies acknowledge that the technology has important competitive characteristics. Nevertheless, the study also revealed some uncertainty about the 5G technology, given the fact that many companies are questioning the industry predictions about the dramatically improved speeds of 5G networks. Furthermore, most of them, highlighted that they need help to imagine the future possibilities and use cases of 5G.

In terms of time expectations, Greek organizations recognize that 5G-enabled applications will significantly transform the way we live and tackle existing problems within the next 5 years (by 2025). The surveyed companies also recognize that the adoption of modern technologies, such as IoT, AI and Robotics will affect most businesses soon. However, despite its benefits, half of the surveyed companies estimate that the upfront investment cost will be the main barrier towards 5G adoption. Having said that, businesses will need to find ways to ensure they’re getting a return on investment (ROI). Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that using 5G to innovate can be seen also as an important challenge as some of them state that they don’t have a clear understanding of how they should use it. Finally, in terms of barriers, some companies (11%) underline security concerns as a significant barrier that may prevent or delay 5G adoption.

None of these challenges are impossible to overcome particularly with the power of ecosystem play and the support of the right partners and expert advisors. Many companies in the survey highlighted the pivotal role of ecosystem - 57% are considering that the collaboration within their industry sector to create a 5G ecosystem will be beneficial for all participants. For other companies, moving forward with 5G means seeking external support. 54% of companies said that they are going to partner with System Integrator companies to acquire 5G services and 15% will turn to Consulting companies for 5G services. For service providers such as telcos, 30% of businesses are likely to work with them to develop new capabilities. From our perspective, with their proven history of providing secure connectivity across diverse locations, the advent of 5G offers telcos a clear opportunity to pivot from ‘only connectivity’ operators to facilitators of 5G ecosystems, like IoT.

"This study provides concrete advice to business leaders, consumers, policy makers and gives shape to an extraordinarily multifaceted topic: The emergence and possible evolution of 5G technology in Greece. The findings reveal that 5G is correlated to a growth trajectory for the country towards a post-digital era."

— Vangelis Karelis, Senior Manager – Network Services & IX.0, Accenture

5G as a driver for growth in Greece

Accenture’s econometric model for Greece estimates that the rise of 5G within the local economy will create an uplift of $4,18 Bn in GDP, equivalent to a 1,2% increase. In case of collaboration related to network deployment, in the timeframe 2022 to 2028, thanks to 5G, GDP will further increase to $6,27 Bn. Focusing on the dimension of employment, thousands of new jobs can be created in Greece by 2028. In case of collaboration, the incremental employment uplift may reach 46.000 new jobs. Reflecting on the previous findings, we may conclude that similarly to other countries, 5G can be an important economic growth pillar for Greece. As a result, the 5G technology will be able not only to evolve the existing communications in terms of data speed, network capacity, low latency, but also to enable revolutionary applications and disruptive business models resulting in the creation of thousands of new jobs and contributing heavily to GDP uplift.

Accenture’s Research econometric model for Greece estimates that the rise of 5G within the local economy will create an uplift of $4,18 Bn in GDP. In case of collaboration related to network deployment, GDP will further increase to $6,27 Bn.

Accenture: Greece’s Race to 5G (GDP & Employment Uplift)

The path towards a 5G-enabled future

The path to the development of 5G networks and the marketing of advanced services to be offered to consumers and businesses, will be neither easy nor simple. Accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G use cases in Greece will rely on 8 key actions: accelerating the spectrum auction process, encouraging investments in wireless infrastructure, boosting demand, addressing technophobia among Greek public opinion, handling the security challenge, embracing collaboration among relevant stakeholders during network deployment process, enabling ecosystems for co-creation of use cases and value propositions aiming at encouraging innovation. An interesting finding of this study is the fact that the above initiatives of accelerating 5G adoption, need to be treated in a dynamic manner, using their systematic interlink, therefore the right blend and alignment of these 8 initiatives is crucial.

The path to the development of 5G networks and the marketing of advanced services to be offered to consumers and businesses, will be neither easy nor simple.Accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G use cases in Greece will rely on 8 key actions

Accenture: Greece’s Race to 5G (Key Initiatives Framework)

Countries like Greece can be benefited significantly by the adoption of new and innovative technologies, such as 5G, and will be able to make the required “leapfrog” towards the post-digital era. Given that our analysis shows Greece among the countries with relatively higher benefits (proportionally to its current status) in terms of GDP and employment, we see the acceleration of 5G adoption as a LEAD or LOSE dilemma with a profound impact towards country’s future. Therefore, Greece should certainly accelerate 5G adoption and deployment plans, in order to reinforce its economic recovery and digitalization maturity level by seizing the benefits of the upcoming 5G era.

Click here to download the executive summary report.

Dr. Kyriacos Sabatakakis

Country Managing Director


Vangelis Karelis

Senior Manager – Network Services & IX.0

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