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What is 5G and what will it mean for your business?

There has been a lot of talk about 5G recently and an equal amount of fake news and conspiracy theories on the subject. We’re here to set the record straight and explain exactly what 5G is and what it will mean for your business.

5G, or fifth generation, is the next generation of wireless technology following 3G and 4G. 5G is faster than its predecessors, with a much larger capacity. This means that more devices can access more data within less time.

How does 5G compare?

3G allowed for the launch of smartphones, while 4G improved browsing speed allowing us to do things like stream videos and browse the internet on the go. 5G is the next step on from this with improved speed, capacity and responsiveness. 5G can operate up to 100 times faster than 4G technologies. For example, if you were to download a film using 4G, it could take an average of 50 minutes. When using 5G, this process would take approximately nine minutes, significantly decreasing the download time.

Source: Raconteur

What does 5G mean for business?

5G can be used across of a range of sectors for a myriad of different tasks and is set to revolutionise the way we do business. A report from IHS Markit estimates 5G to enable over $12 trillion in global economic output by 2035.

While 5G can enable a number of highly skilled industries with advancements in automation, robotics, and virtual reality, it can also improve more basic operations and day-to-day tasks. With 5G, many machines and devices could become truly wireless, allowing for more flexibility and reducing costs. 5G technologies can also be used to aid developments with smart cities and autonomous cars, with uses in connected road sensors and smart highways.

5G can be used across all sectors in some way, here are some examples of 5G possibilities in different industries:
• Farming – 5G can be used in autonomous machinery using connected sensors and video cameras to monitor and carry out tasks.

• Transport – 5G technologies can be used to monitor and improve efficiency of services such as traffic management and street lighting.

• Healthcare – 5G can be used to facilitate virtual reality learning for medical students to provide a more realistic mock surgery.

• Energy – 5G will aid the energy industry in the development of new smart grid features as well as helping to create solutions to production and distribution.

• Retail – 5G can enable a whole new way of shopping on your smartphone, this could include features like trying on clothes in virtual reality.

5G in manufacturing

When it comes to the manufacturing industry, 5G can play a major role in Internet of Things technologies. These new technologies and devices that make up IoT factories will rely on 5G to enable the fast paced, improved efficiency models that will truly make up the factories of the future.

The increased connectivity needs of IoT will need to rely on the improved speed and capacity of 5G. The network needs to be able to keep pace with the new devices and connectivity needs, and 5G will be able to handle these developments.

A great example of this is Ericsson’s smart factories in Sweden, China and Estonia that fast-tracked the implementation of 5G to jump start a new generation of manufacturing. The factories implemented 5G in the very early stages of its life alongside new industrial IoT technologies to create an integrated factory, allowing the new tech to develop simultaneously in a manufacturing environment. This allowed it’s factories to be ready ahead of the curve.

Many have already adopted 5G now and, as we start to see its uses being implemented across industry, the benefits will be reaped in the form of reduced costs, improved connectivity and increased productivity. It really is an exciting time for businesses, especially those who are willing to embrace the changes and adopt these new technologies.

If you have any queries about what 5G means for your business’s IT, get in touch with a member of our team here.

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