Superfast fifth generation, or 5G, mobile internet services are already on offer: at the moment you can’t get it everywhere yet and handset choices remains limited, but things will change fast in the upcoming months. So, what 5G exactly is and what difference will it make to our lives?
5G in a nutshell
In a gist, this fifth-generation or 5G wireless Internet technology is going to enhance value creation, customer experience, cost-efficiency, and other organisational growth metrics, explains Aldo, network engineer at melitabusiness.com. And these perks can trickle down to different aspects of life and the economy, even in the agriculture (e.g., driverless farm equipment, automatic irrigation) and construction sectors (e.g., building information modelling, Smart buildings).
Unlike the conventional cellular connection, the 5G connectivity infrastructure is designed to surpass the speed of a physical fibre-optic cable. In its initial rollout and tests, its speed is at a whooping 1G per second.
12 Insights for Entrepreneurs
For entrepreneurs looking to leverage 5G tech for growth, here are the 12 important insights to keep in mind.
- 5G offers 3 main cellular connection improvements. First, it offers large channels that give way to a faster internet connection. Second, it supplies a low latency connection for better responsiveness. And third, a 5G network can connect multiple devices simultaneously.
- 5G offers 3 levels of wave spectrums – high, middle, and low. The low band spectrum is more or less the same with 4G. The middle band uses 2.5-3.7 GHz microwave and is the commonly deployed service. And the high band service offers the fastest connection using short-range frequencies.
- A 5G internet network offers near-zero latency. While 4G’s latency is around 50 milliseconds, 5G is at 30 ms or less. This means a more stable internet connection, especially for those working remotely. For entrepreneurs, this means getting more things done, knowing that downloads, updates, and uploads would be faster.
- 5G speeds are 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. This means it can download a full-length film within seconds. For remote workers, this means they can finally do their tasks anywhere without relying on the stable and fast connection used to be only available from fibre-optic internet providers.
- 5G networks come with a smarter infrastructure, knowing that it is required to handle more cells to provide faster speeds. The 5G network infrastructure consists of small and macro-cell base stations equipped with high-end computing capabilities. It relies on standalone (new towers) and non-standalone infrastructures, which is connected to an existing 4G LTE tower.
- 5G offers opportunities for driverless vehicles and industrial automation. As the 5G network rollout is still in its infancy, it’s still too early to foresee its impact on businesses. But one thing that can be expected is that it will enhance industrial automation. For instance, it will speed up the development of driverless cars that can effectively interact with other vehicles while navigating the highways.
- 5G provides better support for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) systems. AI and ML are data-driven innovations. And the speedy and high data rate capability of 5G will power up these software-centric systems even further, explains Aldo, network engineer at melitabusiness.com. As AI and ML systems continue to improve, these will also spur further advancement in design, automation, and modelling.
- Phones with 5G connection are capable of augmented and virtual reality. Tech companies initially develop augmented reality (AR) devices using a head-mounted display, such as glasses, but it isn’t physically possible yet to fit high-definition display and computing systems on these small gears. However, with the use of 5G, AR devices will undergo further improvements and will prospectively include the use of smartphones.
- 5G phones will be launched on the market starting in late 2020. Even in its initial rollout stage, 5G phones are already highly in-demand. As of 2020, major smartphone manufacturers are launching their top handsets to perfectly suit the next-generation connectivity. These phones come with high-resolution graphics, multi-band 5G connectivity options, and high-end chipset.
- 5G offers more Internet-of-Things options. With 5G’s fast and reliable connection, entrepreneurs can add more apps and software to their existing business systems. Shopping trackers, tools for inventory control, automatic printers, and security alarms are some of the awesome IOT additions to improve productivity. Ultimately, all these new features will contribute to utility savings and make supply networks more efficient.
- 5G offers better cyber-security solutions, making it more suitable for innovation. With 5G, businesses can use several security apps simultaneously. Business owners can also use more smart features for the office to improve safety, employee health, morale, and productivity. Tracking and data analysis via cloud solutions would also be easier, especially during emergencies (e.g., data theft, loss, infringement, misuse).
- 5G adoption for business purposes needs careful study and planning. Although adopting 5G in entrepreneurship opens a wealth of opportunities, business owners should conduct thorough studies before joining the bandwagon. Yes, this tech is perfect for digital businesses. But transitioning to 5G urgently might not be a good idea for other industries. 5G is still in its infancy stage, and 4G wouldn’t be gone for good.
Overall, there’s certainly a lot to be excited about 5G. It is posed to have significant contributions to different industries, be it in the construction, education, and agriculture sectors. And if you’re a business owner, it’s best to strategise how you’re going to adopt and leverage this high-speed next-gen internet connectivity.