What is 5G?
5G, which stands for fifth generation, promises to be a great advancement in wireless connectivity. A step-up from current 4G, 5G is the next big thing. From faster download and upload speeds, to more stable connections, 5G seems to be the answer to many frustrations such as variable video calls and glitching games.
But how does it work? And what does it mean for business?
How does 5G work?
5G uses higher-frequency bands which have lots of capacity, but shorter wavelengths, resulting in a lower range. In order to make 5G widely accessible to the masses in high density, there will need to be clusters of smaller phone masts between high numbers of transmitters and receivers. Because of this these demands, the roll out of 5G will not be instantaneous and will instead take time to develop the infrastructure over the years.
How fast is 5G?
Current 4G mobile networks offer approximately 45Mbps on average, however, standalone 5G networks could get gigabit-plus speeds for browsing. Where on 4G a HD film may take 30 minutes to download, on 5G the same film could take only 25 seconds.
To summarise, 5G is ultrafast.
4G vs 5G
Is 5G better than 4G? 5G has the potential to be far better than 4G, however changes may not be noticeable instantaneously. 5G can be much quicker than 4G but the speed is dependent on carriers and their investment in masts/transmitters. It could be 2022 before we see 5G masts and transmitters all over the country and reaching everybody. For the time being, it may be that 5G is a luxury afforded by those with phones compatible with 5G in areas covered by the signal. So yes, 5G is faster and better than 4G, but its less readily available, and full benefits of 5G may not be obvious for a few more years.
How will we use 5G?
The options for 5G seem limitless; drone search and rescue, traffic monitoring, autonomous vehicle communication. But for the average person or business, the usage will be more regular. Most people will use 5G for mobile video playback or smooth video calls.
How will it affect business?
For telecoms companies, 5G will likely have little effect, as many businesses are still drawn to the reliance and safety of fixed line. This is unlikely to instantly change.
For small business, 5G may help improve customer or client relations through better communication. Remote working may become a more feasible option if a secure and fast 5G signal can be guaranteed. Recruitment processes may benefit from the ability of employers to have fast and clear video calls with people across the world. While 5G is unlikely to affect business much, there is great benefit to having 5G and gaining smooth communication for your business.
There are, however, risks to using 5G for business, as an unsecured network leaves employers/employers’ files vulnerable when being transferred using 5G. Businesses need to keep their wits about them concerning data sharing via 5G and should consider this if adopting 5G.
It has been proposed that 5G could be utilised for business innovation, including holographic projection. But that all seems rather farfetched for the average SME…
The bottom line to 5G
Ultimately 5G promises to be super-fast and incredibly useful to people in helping to increase download times. Businesses are unlikely to be too affected, however they could utilise 5G to improve conference call quality, offer work from home, improve client communication, and recruit globally. For a remote worker, 5G will be fantastic, making online sharing faster and more efficient. Imagine.
As for most people, 5G will simply make everything on our phones happen a little faster (provided you’re lucky enough to be near a mast).