It might be happening a bit slower than people expected, but the advent of 5G is just over the horizon. As leading network providers gear up to deploy their 5G offerings, the benefits of 5G for individuals and businesses are also getting closer.
Organizations looking to future-proof their systems and products must recognize the potential of 5G — its fast, reliable transmissions are set to revolutionize business mobility solutions. Let’s examine the benefits of 5G and how this promising network upgrade will supercharge business.
What is 5G?
5G is the fifth generation of mobile wireless communications technology — the upgrade to the 4G network. By using shorter, higher-frequency bands of the radio spectrum, 5G promises lower latency, faster speeds, and greater load capacity. Some researchers believe that in real-world conditions, 5G could deliver browsing and download speeds 10 to 20 times faster than the 4G network.
As data and mobility become more critical to business operations, IT teams across the globe are getting ready to embrace the next-gen network. According to one study, 66 percent of businesses have or are planning to deploy 5G in 2020.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding 5G — and for good reason. Improvements offered by 5G will give businesses access to lightning-fast data transfer speeds and improved network reliability.
Faster Connection Speeds – The most widely known benefit of 5G is its connection speed, which is significantly faster than what the 4G network currently offers. Theoretically, 4G’s maximum speed tops out at 100 megabits per second, but that’s under perfect laboratory conditions. In contrast, 5G has the potential to reach a staggering 10 gigabits per second, a jump that will surely be of interest to businesses across all industries and sectors. The amount of data that enterprises transfer every day, hour, even minute is growing rapidly. With the speeds 5G is promising, moving significant amounts of data won’t cause any network issues.
Higher Device Capacity – Networks are not unlimited and can only handle a predefined number of devises and data transmission simultaneously. But offices are utilizing more and more devices, all of which are transferring more and more data — the 4G network just isn't able to handle these increased loads. And that’s where 5G comes in. Estimates suggest that 5G deployments can support one million connected devices per 0.38 square miles, where 4G can support just 2,000. With 5G, enterprise networks can host large numbers of devices in their IT infrastructure, all of which can undertake simultaneous data transfer thanks to the network’s larger spectrum band.
Lower latency – Latency is the gap of time between when a data packet is sent and when it is received and acknowledged. High latency results in noticeable lag, something that has always been present in our network connections. For example, if you’re watching a live-streamed tennis match, what you see on the screen is always behind what is actually happening in real time on the court. Latency is a particularly important metric for businesses looking to get involved in the Internet of Things marketplace, and the lower latency offered by 5G can significantly improve the functionality — and in some cases, safety — of IoT devices.
How 5G Will Supercharge Business
If 5G delivers on its promises, it will likely creep into every aspect of business operations. Even when and where we work will be affected, with the possibility of remote teams empowering organizations to hire top talent outside of their local area, or even country.
5G will supercharge business, but it’s not as simple as switching to a new network provider or contract. Leaders looking to capitalize on the widespread introduction of 5G can lay the groundwork by:
Including 5G in the budget. Like all new technologies, 5G hardware will be more expensive than 4G hardware. For businesses to remain competitive when a full-scale launch of the technology occurs, they’ll need 5G-ready equipment on hand and ready to go.
Strengthening big data analytics. 5G will facilitate advances in artificial intelligence, automation, and IoT, and with these advances come more and more data. How a company collects, stores, and uses that data will be critical to success, so investment in analytics tools will be essential.
Providing 5G education. Teams cannot make the most of this new technology if they don’t understand what it is and the potential it offers. 5G education can help businesses understand how the network’s benefits can support business goals, improve customer experience, and drive growth.
Preparing for the wave of automation and AI. Faster speeds and lower latency lend themselves to an influx in new automation and AI technologies. Businesses will rely on mobile networks more than ever and will need to work with IT specialists to redesign and streamline core operations.
Strategizing 5G use. Technology is always evolving and improving. Today’s 5G technologies will be limited compared to those of the future. Companies must strategize how they are going to use 5G now, and in the longer term.
Whether it’s tomorrow, next year, or five years down the line, at some point, you’ll have an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of 5G. Faster speeds, lower latency, and improved device capacity will pave the way for new technologies — automated, intelligent technologies that will enhance business performance and revolutionize the customer experience.
Michael Brenner is a keynote speaker, author, and CEO of Marketing Insider Group. Michael has written hundreds of articles on sites such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, and The Guardian. He speaks at dozens of leadership conferences each year covering topics such as marketing, leadership, technology, and business strategy. Follow him @BrennerMichael.
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