5G Technology—The mobile data has not been around for very long, yet the tech industry is obsessed with it. There are more questions than answers after being in the works for nearly a decade.
But there’s also debate on who will carry the best service.
With all these questions, what do you need to know for your business and customers?
What is 5G?
To put it simply, 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace 4G LTE connection. These new networks are designed to carry data up to 10x faster than 4G networks.
5G plans on delivering great speed, improved responsiveness and the ability to connect more devices at the same time.
According to Business News Daily, “Currently, the top broadband providers offer 1Gbps in select markets, although many home networks don’t come close to those high speeds. By comparison, the latest industry report from OpenSignal found that the highest LTE speeds have plateaued at about 45Gbps. While that sounded fast a few years ago, it’s a far cry from what 5G could bring.”
How It Works
Digital Trends explains why it’s a good idea to understand how 5G works, since it is different from traditional 4G LTE.
5G operates on three separate spectrum bands that affect everyday use.
Low-band spectrum can be described as sub 1GHz spectrum. It is primarily the spectrum band used by carriers in the U.S. for LTE and is quickly becoming depleted. While low-band spectrum offers great coverage area and penetration, there is a big drawback: peak data speeds will top out around 100Mbps.
Mid-band spectrum provides faster coverage and lower latency than you’ll find on low-band. It does, however, fail to penetrate buildings as well as low-band spectrum. Expect peak speeds up to 1Gbps on mid-band spectrum.
High-band spectrum is what most people think of when they think of 5G. It is often referred to as mmWave. High-band spectrum can offer peak speeds up to 10 Gbps and has very low latency. The major drawback of high-band is that it has low coverage area and building penetration is poor.
But is that everything?
Small cells play an important role in 5G mobile broadband. Small cells are low-power base stations that cover small geographic areas. Carriers using mmWave for 5G can improve overall coverage area with small cells. These cells can deliver fast coverage with low latency when combined with Beamforming.
5G mobile broadband has a variety of uses:
- Improved broadband
- Autonomous vehicles
- Public safety and infrastructure
- Remote device control
- Health care
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Benefits of 5G for Businesses
5G can encourage better business communications and ensure tasks get done more quickly and efficiently. From responding to customer queries to communicating with remote workers, fast and reliable communication is vital for business productivity, profitability and success.
Carrying out vital business tasks at quicker speeds will have a positive effect on business efficiency. This improved efficiency can result in better productivity among staff and increased bottom lines.
Therefore, more benefits businesses can take advantage of once the new mobile broadband becomes worldwide:
- Faster internet speeds
- Increased traffic
- Seamless tech integration
- Intelligent IoT devices
- Network slicing
- Multi-access edge computing
Benefits of 5G for Consumers
Many of the benefits businesses can get with 5G mobile broadband can apply to consumers depending on what their specific needs are. Marketing Charts specifies that consumers are more excited for features such as faster data transfer feeds and better and faster connectivity for wearable devices.
With many smartphone users streaming video from social media and apps on their phones daily, it’s no wonder that 57% of consumers said that high definition video content and consistent and constant video streaming were features they were excited for.
According to the telecoms giant Ericcson, “The US is expected to lead 5G deployments, with all major operators in the country planning a 5G rollout between late 2018 and mid-2019.
“By the end of 2023, Ericsson predicts that almost 50 percent of all US mobile subscriptions will be based on the new standard.”
According to CNET, major concerns stemming from the 5G introduction is whether spotty coverage and price hikes might affect consumers from switching over from 4G LTE.
For the spotty coverage, “Imagine if you’re going on a highway at 60 miles per hour, and then you get stuck on a street going 10 mph,” said Jefferson Wang, a managing director at Accenture Strategy. “It’s a jolt.”
The other concern regarding the price hikes may make consumers think twice about switching. Could the 5G mobile broadband be marketed as a premium service with a premium price tag? If so, are businesses and consumers willing to give up their money for something like that?
If businesses and consumers are not willing to spend their hard-earned money on quicker mobile broadband, they may consider replacing their home internet with a mobile hotspot.
If going mobile is the right option for your business and customers, if they’re interested, important questions need to be answered such as:
- Is it financially viable to go completely wireless?
- What options for unlimited plans for going mobile can I choose from?
- How do I know which unlimited plan is the right one for my business?
When can people start using 5G devices?
For starters, the network has to be in place. Best Buy notes that major mobile carriers including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are currently building their 5G networks and will be introducing them in select cities in 2019 with more extensive 5G rollouts expected in 2020.
In Conclusion,What does Petra think?
Josh Williams, Director of Digital and Ecommerce Marketing at Petra Industries, voices his thoughts and concerns about 5G technology. “5G enables a better shopping experience with faster download and less lag. Having more images and video, better gaming and streaming on mobile devices may be faster than what home internet can provide.
But there are some questions that need to be considered regarding 5G mobile broadband.
Will handset providers be rolling out new phone? Can TVs stream directly rather than through a home Internet? Devices that claim 5G but don’t? Slow adoption? Will big cities get it first? What about rural America? We still have areas without 4G.”
Anything that relies on data will be improved due to faster speeds and less latency.