There's a new wireless network on the block: 5G. Touted as the new gold standard for wireless connections and download speeds, the advantages of 5G technology could be revolutionary. Here's why this is no small matter — and what the C-suite can learn from new implementations.
Feel the Gs
Current wireless networks typically rely on 4G or LTE technology, which represent fourth-generation and long-term evolution, respectively. These networks offer solid upload/download speeds and reasonable latency, but proponents of 5G say there's room to improve. According to Phys.org, 5G networks could offer speeds up to 1,000 times faster than current connections and increase connection stability. While 5G networks won't be commercially viable for the next few years, some organizations — for example, South Korea's KT Mobile — are hoping to showcase the technology.
As ZDNet recently noted, this includes a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) experience that offers multiple, real-time channels — allowing viewers to watch content how they want, when they want, and from any angle they want. Holograms and 5G facial recognition are also on the docket along with streaming, ultra high-definition video.
The Advantages of 5G Technology
So let's break it down: What makes 5G so much better than the current offerings? And what can it do for your businesses?
Speed and streaming often top the list here, since improvements over 4G downloads combined with 4K streaming are big draws for consumers and C-suite members alike. But that's just the beginning. 5G also offers connection reliability even when users are indoors or in congested areas, while bandwidth improvements significantly increase the total allowable number of connected devices.
Perhaps more importantly, however, is the promise of decreased latency. According to CNET, if everything goes according to plan, this comes in at just one millisecond — which for reference is 400 times faster than the blink of an eye. This kind of speed, reliability, and bandwidth means a very different future for mobile and connected technologies. From self-driving cars to full VR experiences, smart cities to smart homes, 5G offers the building blocks necessary to bridge the gap between physical and virtual processes.
5G is coming — and promises a host of advantages over 4G and LTE competitors.
So what does all of this mean for spectators streaming online content and marveling at blistering 5G speeds? Let's put it in perspective.
Consider 360-degree VR experiences. Such offerings hold the potential for customer engagement. New omni-view technologies could allow users to access multimedia data in real time — including videos, images, and audio — as part of the online shopping experience.
For manufacturing, broadband connections offer the chance to finally cut the cord with the assembly line and its robots. Reliable 5G connections could both remove the need for fiber tethering and improve robot reaction times in case of emergency or failure.
Holograms could find use as detailed product models, while facial recognition provides another avenue for mobile device security. True 5G networks also provide the foundation for even more reliable cloud communication and unified communications-as-a-service. As organizations continue to lose their ties to wire- and fiber-based networks, they still demand high-fidelity communication anywhere, anytime — 5G will be part of that solution.
Emergent Technology and the Long Game
The biggest hurdle against 5G commercial viability may not be the technology itself, but the standardization of 5G networks and connections. Device support, frequency bands, and government expectations all play a role in the deployment of 5G. Much like the cloud, users can expect an early adopter phase followed by Wild West implementations, then finally, the emergence of worldwide standards. The quicker, the better, since accepted regulations will help to spur global uptake.
5G is coming — and promises a host of advantages over 4G and LTE competitors. For the C-suite, this is a long-game strategy: It's worth making space for innovation and exploration in current business plans to help ease transition from current front-runners to the new gold standard.DOWNLOAD OUR WHITEPAPER
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