5G, the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, is here. From self-driving cars, to automation (of any kind) to new technologies like AR, VR and IoT, and applications like telemedicine to all the undreamt of technologies that are increasingly more reliant on good internet connectivity, 5G will enable these to happen.
5G, the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, is here. When it was first announced and broached in 2017, 5G promised to enable faster internet and mobile speeds with the true 5G making its presence felt in the 2020s. Most global telecommunications companies began deploying in 2019, and is predicted to have more than 1.7 billion subscribers worldwide by 2025, according to the GSMA.
5G is used across three main types of connected services: enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and IoT (Internet of Things). One of its most defining capabilities is that 5G is designed to flexibly support future services and technologies that are as yet unknown.
5G mobile technology can usher in new immersive experiences such as VR and AR with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit. 5G can also enable new services that can transform industries with ultra-reliable, available, low-latency links like remote control of critical infrastructure, vehicles, and medical procedures.
For the IoT sector, 5G will help to seamlessly connect a vast number of embedded sensors in virtually everything through the ability to scale down in data rates, power, and mobility—providing extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions.
So, what does that mean for businesses?
From self-driving cars, to automation (of any kind) to new technologies like AR, VR and IoT, and applications like telemedicine to all the undreamt of technologies that are increasingly more reliant on good internet connectivity, 5G will enable these to happen.
With the predictions and the drive towards Industry 4.0, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things and cloud computing, 5G'spromise of speeds around 10 gigabits per second to any 5G enabled device is a game changer. That's more than 600 times faster than the typical 4G speeds on today’s mobile phones, and 10 times faster than standard home broadband service. It will be crucial as the number of internet-connected vehicles, environmental sensors, thermostats, and other gadgets accelerates in coming years.
5G’s low latency means that it could enable remote surgeries, allowing physicians in one location to manipulate network-connected surgical instruments many miles away; medical providers may also be able to rapidly transmit high-resolution images for use in diagnosis and treatment. Manufacturers can use 5G networks to monitor production lines remotely and maintain video feeds of their factory floors.
Adding 5G technologies to existing network architectures will not only allow businesses to modernize – it will disrupt entire industries. For example, as healthcare organizations continue to innovate and digitize operations, the amount of data usage and transfer continues to increase. 5G is expected to help hospitals and other health providers meet these growing demands and enable quick transmission of large files, the expansion of telemedicine, and the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI).
In the financial sector, 5G can help banks and other finance institutions deliver new, innovative services, such as wearable technology, secure and instant data transfer, or financial recommendation software through AI. The low latency, high data capacity and reliability of forthcoming networks will help create a new platform for the delivery of services – wherever the customer is.
Retail which is already seeing a disruption will see the addition of new trends and personalization when entering a store or building, and retail companies need a network that can handle the amount of data that will be required to manage this. Adding 5G technology to an existing network architecture can help power new offerings that many retailers are beginning to provide, such as VR and AR, futuristic dressing rooms, and personalized improvements to the hospitality industry.
The factories of the future will be filled with sensors, each monitoring different aspects of the working environment. They’ll also feature connected tools, using information ranging from location to accelerometer data to understand where and how they’re being used, to guide workers accordingly. 5G'shigh capacity, wireless flexibility and low-latency performance make it a natural choice to support manufacturers in these environments.
5G technology also has the potential to provide increased visibility and control over transportation systems. Once added to existing network architectures, 5G is expected to help unify network protocols, improve safety and reliability, and provide end-to-end connectivity across our cities and beyond.
5G will make our infrastructure and cities smarter. Our businesses will need to catch up.