What is 5G and what are its implications for business?

The popularity and usefulness of smartphones have grown exponentially in recent years, and mobile networks have a lot to do with the trend. By enabling users to connect to the internet, mobile networks helped turn mobile into one of the most important technologies in entertainment, communication, and business. 

Mobile will likely be even more popular, thanks to 5G, the latest evolution of mobile broadband and one of today’s top emerging trends in technology, which many expect to be launched in 2020.

What is 5G?

Like most mobile phones today, your smartphone can likely use 4G or 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE), which is the closest you can get to true 4G connectivity. Developed in 2008, 4G was a revolutionary technology that enabled most of the modern applications of mobile, including media streaming and internet hotspots.

Not only is 5G newer, but it is also a vast improvement from 4G. It’s expected to be smarter, faster, and more energy-efficient than current “Gs.” In terms of download speeds alone,  5G can reach up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), while 4G clocks in at a maximum 100 megabits per second (Mbps).

Experts believe 5G will help address some of the issues with 4G. One of these is latency or the time it takes for information to travel from one device to another. Reduced latency levels courtesy of 5G means you will be able to enjoy mobile connection speeds akin to — if not superior to — what your cable modem or Wi-Fi offer. Upload and download large-sized content in minutes or stream UltraHD movies on Netflix within seconds, all on your phone.

Another issue 5G may help resolve is bandwidth or the amount of data that can be sent from one point to another within a given period. Today’s infrastructure cannot effectively cope with all the data going to and from 3G and 4G devices, but 5G will do just that while leaving more room for future technology trends, such as driverless cars.

How will 5G benefit businesses?

Telecommunication giant Qualcomm considers 5G the innovation that will “catapult” mobile into a general-purpose technology (GPT) on par with the likes of cars, the internet, and computers. With it, business owners may expect:


#1. Increased productivity

Thanks to 5G’s greater speeds, your staff can accomplish more tasks in a day. They can work more effectively using their mobile devices, which means they can do their job outside the office or during their commute. No matter where they are, 5G will allow them to turn in their outputs or join conference calls without trouble, as long as their mobile devices support the technology.  

#2. Smarter offices

Combining 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) can help you create a truly smart and low-cost workplace. Using small radio sensors, you can keep track of factors like occupancy, lighting, and temperature, and control these through your mobile phone.

#3. Better customized networks

Network slicing is one of the most distinctive features of 5G. It allows operators to split a single physical network into several virtual networks that may be tailored according to your business’s needs. This feature essentially lets you have a private 5G network.

Network slicing has neat cybersecurity implications, too. Cyberattacks that affect one virtual network may be isolated to that network alone, preventing them from spreading to other virtual networks your business uses.

#4. Greater availability of AR and VR

The launch of 5G is expected to make both augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) more accessible to the masses, including small businesses. Currently, AR and VR come at hefty price points. Experts believe that 5G will enable AR and VR business models similar to what Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure follow, wherein users pay only for the service they use and can cancel anytime. 

#5. More rural development

Even in developed countries, there are rural areas with low-quality mobile connectivity, if at all. The greater speed and scope that 5G offers will enable users in  rural locales to enjoy broadband quality similar to what their peers in urban areas use. This will allow them to open and manage online businesses, access educational materials, and communicate better.

5G will usher in changes that will benefit businesses of all sizes and in different locations. Partner with an expert today to learn how you can prepare for 5G and take full advantage of its features and benefits in growing your business.

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