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Everything your business needs to know about 5G connectivity

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that plenty of buzz has been generated around the arrival of 5G; and you’re probably already wondering if this technology is something your organization be investing in. However, what is meant by 5G and what benefits will it actually bring?

In the simplest of definitions, it is the fifth generation of wireless technology (also referred to as mobile or cellular network technology), preceding 4G, 3G and 2G. It promises great things for businesses and consumers alike, such as instant connectivity and faster speeds. It is also expected to aid in the further development of IoT (the Internet of Things) as it is able to carry large amounts of data between objects and devices, such as smart home appliances and smart cars.

With 5G already being available in many cities around the world, what do you need to know about its current coverage and the benefits this exciting technology can bring to your business?

What is 5G and where is it available?

5G is the next (and fifth) generation of technology for mobile networks and wireless devices, expected to be a direct replacement for 4G. Though unlike its predecessors, it is not one single network. Instead, it will be a “network of networks”, combining existing and future standards to ignite improvements in various areas of technology. As 5G.co.uk explains, this includes superfast mobile broadband which will replace landlines, as well as 5G phones, 5G televisions and other devices.

As previously mentioned, 5G will also be a key component in the future of IoT. This enables connected devices to communicate with each other, increasing productivity in various areas of business. Just one example is when shipping products from warehouses, with connected devices enabling businesses to track the movement of delivery vehicles to prevent delays.

Telecoms and tech giant Ericsson predicts that by the end of 2024, up to 65% of the world’s population will have access to 5G connectivity. In the June 2019 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, they also estimate that 5G subscriptions will reach a total of 1.9 billion, and that 35% of traffic will be carried by 5G networks by the end of that same year.

Although a worldwide rollout won’t be instant by any means, 5G is already available in many locations across the US. These include Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, New York, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Across the pond in the UK, 5G is also available in a number of towns and cities, such as London, Cardiff, Bristol, Belfast, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

What are the benefits of 5G connectivity for businesses?

  • Improved speeds – 5G is expected to be 100 times faster than current 4G technology, offering speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps).
  • More reliable connections – 5G will have lower latency than previous networks, meaning that there is far less delay when using phones and other mobile devices. It will also be more reliable than 4G, greatly reducing lost connectivity and dropped calls.
  • Greater capacity – 5G will be able to support more applications at once, giving businesses the ability to connect more users to a network.

Each of these factors will benefit organizations in many ways. Offering much faster speeds and a more reliable connection with less delays, it should come as no surprise that 5G will enable employees in a business to get more done, increasing their productivity and efficiency levels. With 5G also promising seamless connectivity, remote working will also be made easier. This is good news for both employers and employees, with remote and flexible working being two of the most sought-after perks by parents and other modern workers.

Additionally, through increased reliability, less business opportunities will be lost due to dropped calls, lost connectivity and other delays when communicating with new and existing clients.

According to a study from Qualcomm, 5G will generate up to $3.5 trillion (£2.65 trillion) in revenue in 2035. A report from PSB Research (which surveyed over 3,500 people) also found that 82% expect 5G to enable small business growth, and 89% expect it to increase productivity. With that in mind, it might just be time to embrace 5G in your organization…

July 30, 2019