We’ve been hearing about them forever, but 5G mobile phone services are expected to officially launch in 2020. According to Ovum, there could be 24 million 5G subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2021 for mobile and fixed broadband services. Ovum’s 5G forecast predicts that North America and Asia will each account for more than 40% of global 5G subscriptions at the end of 2021, followed by Europe with more than 10% of subscriptions.
The introduction of 5G will forever change our world, the way we connect and the way we do business. So, what is 5G? How will it impact our communications infrastructure? And what exactly are the benefits and challenges associated with this new wave in mobile technology?
What is 5G?
Similar to its predecessors 4G and 3G, the “G” represents “generation.” Each generation of mobile networks served a specific need or catered to a demand (e.g., faster connections). The need for 5G is best served by the explosion of IoT networked devices. The new 5G networks can be defined as wireless phone technologies designed to support an increasing number of devices which need internet connections. Gartner estimates there are 6.4 billion connected devices in use this year and predicts there will be 20.8 billion such devices in use by 2020.
How will it benefit businesses?
Due to the fact that 5G will be able to support a greater number of devices, the business need is clear. According to a Forbes global survey of more than 1,000 executives, more than one-third say their current systems already can’t support the evolving needs of their business. This includes more than half (55%) of executives at organizations with revenues in excess of $10 billion. The problem is most pressing in the Asia/Pacific region, where 38% of all executives agree they’ve outgrown their networks. It’s followed closely by Europe (36%) and North America (34%).
The new 5G networks are being met with great anticipation in the business world. According to the Forbes survey, more than 80% of all executives believe that 5G technologies will have positive effects on multiple areas of their operations. Prognosticators are most bullish about the benefits of 5G on the customer experience, the quality of products and services and worker productivity.
A major prediction is that business will be able to move everything onto the cloud which would improve access for remote offices, increase efficiencies and improve collaboration. Cloud migration, done correctly, can also help secure company information.
As it’s rolled out, 5G is expected to relieve issues of overworked networks which is useful for sites that experience a lot of traffic. And it’s also expected that digital advertising will become more prevalent. The networks of tomorrow will enable advertisers to target larger groups more frequently.
How will it benefit consumers?
For consumers, the goal of 5G is to provide a good product experience and network experience. As the IoT picks up more and more momentum and we connect more and more of our devices to speak to
As the IoT picks up more and more momentum and we connect more and more of our devices to communicate with one another, 5G will enable these devices to connect and exchange data. Everything from our cell phones to our household appliances and cars can be connected and store data.
In real terms, for example, 5G networks will inevitably change the way we shop. Wearable devices will track our activities and speak to retailers about our about our buying habits. Additionally, 5G will allow for smarter technology that transmits and responds to information about your lifestyle, needs and behavior.
What are the challenges facing 5G?
One of the most significant challenges around 5G is standardization and ensuring that the technology can be implemented globally. Building the infrastructure will be a huge task also, and there are concerns over factors such as building new antennas.
What’s more, 5G will also depend on higher-frequency bands. Networks will need to be able to accommodate faster speeds.
Finally, security is more important than ever. No matter which networks they’re connecting with, consumers need to be on guard about what devices and networks they use to safeguard their data.
How do you predict that 5G will impact our world? We’d love to hear in the comments!