There’s a good chance you have heard of 5G technology, and also a good chance you don’t really know what that means. Then again, you probably didn’t know what 3G and 4G meant, either. If so, you might be wondering what 5G is, and how 5G will impact your business or organization.
What 5G Can Do
Before we can look into how 5G will impact small-to-medium size business, we need to discuss 5G’s capabilities. 5G stands for the fifth generation of cellular networking, and its main advantage is speed—blurringly fast mobile speed. In fact, it’s expected that 5G will download data 20x faster than the current 4G cellular technology. Actually, that might be an understatement. The Chicago Tribune recently reported that 5G “can run between 10 and 100 times faster than your typical 4G cellular connection today.” But speed is just one of its many advantages, which also include:
- Lower Latency
Latency refers to the delay or lag between when we send an instruction with our phones or other devices, and the data transfer. With 4G networks, latency is typically around 40-50 milliseconds. With 5G it will be 1 millisecond or less. This will particularly benefit AI and virtual reality. As a result, most experts expect a rapid expansion of these technologies.
- Greater Capacity
5G can run many high-demand applications all at once without interruptions—which means you can use your apps, plus IoT (Internet of Things) devices plus stream HD video and so on, all simultaneously and without network slowdowns.
- Better Connectivity
Most of us have experienced the frustration of slow download speeds and uneven connectivity, a problem that is especially acute in major cities. 5G, however, will add huge amounts of spectrum in bands that haven’t previously been used for commercial broadband traffic. As a result, 5G should be able to support up to one million connected devices per square kilometer.
- Lower Latency
How 5G Will Impact Business
PSB Research surveyed over 3,500 people including business decision leaders, analysts and tech enthusiasts on how 5G will impact business. The results showed great excitement about 5G technology, and found:
- 91% of those surveyed expect to see the invention of many new products and services
- 87% expect new industries to emerge
- 82% expect small business growth and more global competition
- 85% expect it to make companies more globally competitive
- 89% expect increased productivity
5G’s impact on virtual reality alone will have a tremendous impact on SMBs including enhancing the online shopping experience, reinventing doctor visits, and enabling remote sales support and the use of smart screens in retail environments. Holographic salespeople? 3D demos? They may all become reality sooner than you think.
5G may also dramatically change the workplace. While remote working is fairly widespread, it is still limited in many ways, partly due to technological limitations. Conference calls can be awkward, and speaker phones make communication often difficult to understand. But with the improvement of virtual reality, workers can meet online, and interact as if they were in the same room.
One more benefit is the wealth of information such connectivity makes possible. Web analytics company Izenda reports that the expanded interconnectivity delivered by 5G will allow greater data sharing from cameras, drones, sensors and IoT, providing many more ways to collect and analyze data from users.
The Adoption of 5G
According to global payments provider Veem, 5G may usher in a “new era of digital transformation powered by lightning-quick phones, enhanced virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and countless more technological wonders.” 5G technology website 5g.co.uk says, “Finally, with 5G, businesses will have constant unbroken access to a fast, reliable internet connection. To all intents and purposes, it will be like having an extremely good Wi-Fi hotspot covering the entire developed world.”
It has been estimated that 50 percent of U.S. consumers will have access to 5G within the next five years. With the expected improvement of connection speed, website traffic, and reliability, the technology possibilities are endless; many are sure to surprise us. It also means that early adoption of 5G tech could be critically important for your business, especially if you want to incorporate new consumer services and solutions that might involve AR and VR tech.
If you have any additional questions on 5G technology and how 5G will impact your business or organization, contact one of the tech experts at Single Path. We work with small-to-medium sized businesses, schools and other organizations to help them use, understand and implement the best technology for their needs, including mobility services such as voice and messaging and video conferencing.
Contact us to learn more.