The next generation of the mobile network has become one spotted in many conversations from innovation to controversy, so let’s get a better understanding of what is 5G and unravel some of the benefits it’ll provide moving forward.
5G is the next generation of wireless network technology and predicts to be a gamechanger that promises to advance connectivity services across industries.
4G LTE brought upon an era of mobile broadband in the 2010s, ushering in 10 times faster data downloads. According to the FCC, broadband refers to high-speed internet access and is the quicker option than dial-up access. Also, mobile broadband is an alternative to fixed-line broadband, which relies more on transferring data through cables. 4G LTE allowed broadband services to become available from companies like mobile telephone service providers, significantly impacting how the world uses mobile devices. Fast internet service no longer confines to home networks.
4G’s radio waves have a frequency band between 2 and 8 GHz for communicating data. For comparison, 5G is capable of supporting frequencies as high as 300 GHz. Higher frequencies of radio waves create shorter waves that cover less distance between cellular towers. As a result, more devices can connect to one 5G tower while offering higher connection speeds.
5G offers a larger capacity, provides higher speeds, has less latency, and supports improved user experiences to deliver an array of new wireless services to users. The technology expects to advance capabilities in global communications infrastructure, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, AR/VR experiences, cloud computing, and more. All of the benefits ultimately will help the future of enterprise infrastructures and any end-user.
According to a Gartner study, 66% of companies intend to or will already have installed 5G support in 2020. Businesses are looking to take advantage of faster connection speeds and data transfer speeds and higher device capacity.
Enterprises transfer data continuously throughout the workday, and a robust network infrastructure is even more vital with the increase in remote work environments and hybrid teams around the world. Reducing network issues and increasing speeds is beneficial to the efficiency of any industry.
One result of the move to the remote work environment and the growing reliance on technology in the workplace is that 4G networks are no longer capable of handling increased data loads. The IT infrastructure of 5G networks can host many devices within an enterprise network.
Lastly, 5G will help businesses deal with latency issues from moving data back and forth so often. To illustrate this issue, live-streaming something like a live sports event or concert usually involves a delay of some kind between what’s happening on your screen and in real-time. This delay is also noticeable when watching the same event on TV compared to live-streaming on another device. This issue can be a vital workaround for companies as well. 5G’s lower latency can especially be useful for enterprises involved in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector.
The reality is that switching to 5G isn’t easy or cheap. However, to remain competitive, the switch from 4G should be inevitable. Keep in mind that 5G also requires additional equipment before setting up the new network service.
For end-users at an enterprise, implementing 5G provides the opportunity to create a 5G campus network where a 5G provider can bring stable technology and private 5G to its partners. This partnership allows users to benefit from improved cellular coverage and try out IoT features and capabilities.
This private 5G network an enterprise can add for its end-users (or potential customers) would create an environment that helps anyone reach a 5G signal within its campus (or potentially a store).
One industry taking advantage of implementing 5G campuses to improve employees’ and visitors’ user experiences is the healthcare industry. Mobile connectivity for a health facility is critical, especially for healthcare facilities composed of several buildings in a campus-like area.
In this use case, patients would be able to have their stay or vital signs monitored as quickly as possible within a 5G network. And, for those outside a facility, patients would be able to expect less latency of telehealth or telemedicine appointments. 5G provides this improved service by creating dedicated networks and storage for different devices or services.
Another sector that would greatly benefit its end-users with a 5G network is the entertainment industry. To be more specific, sports stadiums and concert venues.
Providing reliable internet or cellular service to fans or an audience has been a difficult hurdle to climb as the reliance on mobile devices for communication and transportation around these venues has increased. Obviously, tens of thousands of people trying to share the same network can cause some problems.
Verizon brought 5G to all NFL stadiums in 2019, and 5G’s added capabilities allow fans to not only connect to a more reliable network when around the stadium’s ground but also interact with new augmented reality (AR) technology that supports digital overlays of star players or stats on the field.
This video showcases the AR technology 5G enables for the fan experience in a stadium in South Korea.
5G will benefit the growth of many new technologies, such as AR, becoming more common in everyday life and business. Big data analytics is strengthened by 5G support and will allow companies to handle better analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. For AI, in particular, 5G’s efforts to increase speed and lower latency can provide businesses with infrastructure that can better equip teams like IT specialists.