5G wireless is right around the corner, along with its transformation to technology and industry. 5G wireless ushers in the era of gigabit speeds, bringing new device use cases and reduced latency to customers and organizations. The real promise of 5G lies in its ability to improve support for the integration of IoT sensors, self-driving cars, smart cities, and many other systems..
Every major telecommunications network in the United States is in the process of deploying and expanding 5G infrastructure nationwide. This article is intended for small business owners and consumers interested in the 5G landscape and how it differs from previous wireless technologies. The promise of 5G is that we are finally entering an era where everyone can use gigabit speeds. While many in the consumer market will be able to download a game or movie in seconds, it also means a lot to small businesses.
The rollout of 5G is accelerating rapidly, with each wireless carrier expanding its 5G network footprint. At the same time, handset manufacturers are increasing the number of 5G-enabled devices. Globally, Gartner indicates that demand for 5G smartphones will be 32 times greater in 2021 than in 2019, indicating a faster pace of adoption among consumers
What 5G will enable
While many are focused on the gigabit speeds that 5G promises, and that is an important part of the equation, one of the most significant transformations that 5G will bring is reduced communication latency.
Latency is the amount of time it takes for a data packet to get from one point to another. The shorter the latency, the better many devices online will be able to communicate. This is important for businesses that rely on Internet of Things (IoT) technology to connect multiple devices and sensors to provide insight into operations and product placement and communicate business data. According to a report by Ericsson, there will be 30 billion IoT devices by 2027, 5.5 billion of which will operate with cellular connectivity. [Read more about how the Internet of Things will change the way we work for the better and, conversely, how IoT devices could be bad for business.]
Many in the industry are talking about how 5G will be a giant leap forward in making applications such as augmented reality and virtual reality operate more efficiently. While these applications are often limited to Wi-Fi connections, along with faster downloads of games and large files, 5G has the potential to expand what can be done with wireless networks, making the technology suitable for many use cases.
How is 5G different from 4G?
Along with higher speeds, several underlying technologies make 5G unique. For example, regulators have opened up unused new bands called “millimeter waves.” Due to power and equipment constraints, transmission in these bands was not feasible with previous technologies. In its 2021 “This Is 5G” report, Ericsson noted that 5G networks will reach peak download and upload speeds of 20 Gbps and 10 Gbps, respectively (compared to 1 Gbps and 0.2 Gbps for 4G networks).
5G also promises to differentiate itself from 4G on the issue of scale. Ericsson reports that 5G networks will have a latency of 1 millisecond, compared to 10 milliseconds for 4G networks. In addition, 5G will bring significant economic benefits to businesses by accommodating exponentially larger IoT device densities: while 4G networks can handle 250 IoT devices per square mile, 5G will be able to handle 2.5 million devices per square mile This change is expected to be a major economic benefit for 5G networks.
This change is largely due to the fact that 5G networks are different from 4G. 5G uses radio waves just like 2G, 3G, and 4G, but with the integration of high, medium, and low frequency radio waves. These radio waves are integrated through the 5G core, and new technologies such as network slicing and edge computing can further increase network speeds.
How to get 5G
All major U.S. cellular carriers are in the process of deploying and expanding their 5G network infrastructure. In addition to 5G plans for cell phones, carriers are launching 5G home and business networks that bring 5G speeds to wireless networks via wireless 5G routers. These plans will benefit consumers and businesses in areas where high-speed wired Internet is not currently available.
Verizon’s 5G Network
Verizon has launched its 5G Ultra Wideband network in select cities across the U.S., which it claims is up to 10 times faster than traditional 4G LTE speeds. Verizon 5G Nationwide speeds are comparable to 4G LTE, and Verizon claims the network is constantly improving.
Verizon also rolled out 5G Home Internet and 5G Business Unlimited plans. The company promises that latency will drop to milliseconds on its plans so that latency times are undetectable.
AT&T’s 5G Network
AT&T has deployed its own mobile 5G network and has made similar promises about how important this connectivity is to consumers and businesses. like Verizon, AT&T has a 5G network that covers 255 million Americans and a faster, more highly connected 5G+ network, access to which is currently available in select areas of eight major metropolitan areas.
AT&T Business is also developing multiple 5G business solutions for each business use case. [Related Article: 10 Small Business Technology Trends for 2022].
T-Mobile and Sprint’s 5G Networks
The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint has expanded 5G coverage across the U.S. T-Mobile claims that its 5G network covers 90% of Americans and most miles of interstate highways. as well as AT&T and Verizon, plans to expand its 5G coverage by gradually rolling out faster Ultra Capacity and Extended Range 5G network options; T-Mobile is also rolling out 5G Small Business Internet and 5G Home Internet plans.
Which industries will be the first to be impacted by 5G?
Low latency should be key for new innovations in high-tech industries such as artificial intelligence and automation as well as consumer electronics.
5G will enable mission-critical operations of emerging high-tech services. Chinese tech giant Baidu recently announced plans for self-driving cars, and 5G technology will be key to their success. In scenarios that require constant connection to a network, such as digital mapping and security, the self-driving cars of the near future will rely on powerful 5G connectivity.
Other areas where 5G connectivity is essential include healthcare, banking, and automation, where IT infrastructure will also move to cloud hosting, reducing the need for physical hardware and transforming the workforce. Companies that have been hesitant to take the plunge into virtualization may re-evaluate once the latency and speed benefits of 5G become apparent. [We recommend that they consider the advantages and disadvantages of virtualization before making the move for their business.]
Industries that rely on constant input of data could also benefit early from 5G deployment, with Dell Technologies noting that 5G networks could improve agriculture by supporting more IoT sensors in certain areas to monitor precise environmental conditions The company points out that this will help to improve agriculture. Similarly, improved operational technology on 5G networks could enable real-time data transfer in the manufacturing industry.
How SMEs can take advantage of 5G
As telecommunications carriers continue to build the infrastructure for 5G networks, it is time for companies to consider how 5G will impact them and how they can take advantage of it. 5G will be key in areas such as automation, AI, and machine learning, as well as virtualization and cloud computing The 5G market will be a key to areas such as automation, AI, machine learning, virtualization and cloud computing. These areas are likely to boom in the coming years, so it is important to start planning how they will impact your employees and the way you do business. [related article What’s the Difference Between Machine Learning and Automation?]
Ultimately, 5G holds great promise for the types of devices and experiences the technology can provide. For some types of SMEs, it could make a big difference in the way they work and connect with their customers.
As carriers continue to expand their networks, no matter what the hype, mobile network latency and speed will undoubtedly improve. So it’s time to think about how you and your business can take advantage of this future.