What is 5G?
5G wireless technology means it’s the fifth generation or the latest cellular technology that’s set to be deployed soon. What sets 5G apart from the previous technologies is the data speed.
Current LTE or 4G speeds top out at about 50 Mbps, while 3G topped out at about 144 Kbps.
With 5G, it’s expected that users will enjoy speeds as high as 20 Gbps, which is faster than many wired connections. Also, 5G is supposed to provide higher capacity, which should put less strain on the network as more and more people stream high definition content to their mobile devices. Lastly, 5G improves latency times, which means less delay or lag when you’re connecting to the network. Right now, latency times with LTE hover at around 40 milliseconds. With 5G, that latency drops to about 1 millisecond.
Right now, both AT&T and Verizon are working on their 5G networks and hope to begin deploying them in the next few years. T-Mobile unveiled their 5G network plans back in February of 2018 at Mobile World Congress, and they plan to build out 5G in 30 cities this year.
Why It’s Important For Business
While some people say 5G is just a gimmick, many people recognize it for the potential it offers, not only for consumers but businesses as well.
The faster speeds mean companies will be able to deploy new and better services, and their customers will have better experiences using these services thanks to more rapid data transfer. The ability to send large files quickly while on the go opens up new opportunities for companies to do business.
Since the 5G network is designed to have higher capacity, the system won’t slow to a crawl under heavy loads. Imagine being in a connected car and having to rely on a steady stream of information only to find that the network slowed down because of high usage. That’s not just inconvenient, but it can be dangerous in certain situations. With a more robust and reliable network, companies can serve their customers with applications and services that they couldn’t under a slower, less reliable network.
Having a fast, reliable network like 5G will enable companies to hire workers in more remote locations or deploy workers in these locations. Imagine having all the benefits of an ultra-fast fiber wifi connection, but on a phone or tethered laptop virtually anywhere. Imagine being able to stream live video without worrying about dropped frames or being booted off the network because of overcapacity. For a business that specializes in news gathering and reporting, this technology will be a game changer.
And speaking of games, companies will be able to develop more realistic games, especially VR, thanks to a fast network. VR also has implications in the medical industry, the manufacturing industry, retail, and the entertainment industry. Once 5G is deployed and running smoothly, companies will take advantage of the new technology by developing new apps and services that make our lives better.
A huge benefit to companies with the advent of 5G will be in communications. With more and more communications happening wirelessly, it’s vital that companies have reliable networks to communicate with customers and other branches within the company. Thanks to 5G, companies will be able to video conference more reliably, and workers will be able to collaborate on data-heavy projects in real time.
Increases in Efficiency
The advent of faster wireless networks means that companies can become more efficient than before. Imagine having a smart building that monitors electric consumption so that managers can make more informed decisions on how best to manage their energy output to save money. Also, consider banks or hospitals having to approve and process transactions quickly or send highly detailed medical files to clinics or other hospitals to help save lives and improve care. Once 5G is fully deployed, some companies can become leaner by allowing more of their workforce the ability to work from home or while traveling. This not only makes the company more efficient, but it saves them money in salaries and benefits. If you or your business is looking to increase your team’s efficiency, consider finding telecommunications consulting services to help!
One industry likely to see an immediate benefit to faster 5G is the auto industry. With fast, reliable wireless networks fully deployed, cars will not only be connected to the internet but will be connected to one another too. The hope is that having automobiles that talk to each other will lessen the likelihood of a crash or minimize the damage if an accident does occur. The trucking industry, too, is likely to be affected. With a robust and fast network, self-driving trucks will become more and more ubiquitous, and hopefully safer as human error will no longer lead to accidents.
The effects of 5G won’t be fully felt for sometime. The transition from current technology to the new one is going to take years, and it’s going to be expensive. And, to be fair, not all companies are happy about what’s coming down the road. Companies that provide wired DSL or internet through cable aren’t pleased about an ultra-fast wireless network. It’s an easy bet that once 5G is available around town, most people will opt to cut the cord and ditch their wired service provider for good.
Still, if you’re the owner of a medium to large-sized company, the coming of 5G should be exciting, and you should start planning now on how best to take advantage of that technology.