Why businesses can’t afford to ignore 5G

The 5G revolution isn’t just something that companies can look forward to, it’s an experience that’s already here.

Mike Mead

12/10/2020

For a while now, companies have been referencing 5G as the “next big thing” for business technology. According to Qualcomm reports, by 2035, the 5G landscape will be responsible for around £9.3 trillion in goods and services. The opportunities will spread across everything from healthcare to retail, transportation, to education.

Qualcomm also believes that 5G could be responsible for about 22 million jobs. A report from PBS research also reveals that the growth of 5G will lead to new industries, new products and services, and even greater opportunities for global competition.

However, the benefits of 5G aren’t just opportunities on the horizon. Already, countless companies are beginning to tap into this new age of innovation.

Here are some of the reasons why companies can’t afford to ignore 5G right now.

1.   Ultra-Low Latency

With 4G, there’s a significant delay between commands being sent to a device and the item receiving that command. Even the fastest connections struggle with latency. However, with 5G, technology can respond to alerts in as little as 1ms. This makes the tech perfect for innovative new technology, like automated machines and IoT.

5G’s ultra-low latency supports drones in communicating with each other and helps robotic systems to work according to the instructions sent by mobile devices. An engineer could send a set of instructions to a device from their smartphone, and never have to touch the machine in person.

The ultra-low latency of 5G could even open the door to virtual and augmented reality. Quick connections make virtual reality experiences much more immersive and realistic. The future of collaboration might involve virtual environments, not just video conferencing.

2.   Remote and mobile working

The office environment is evolving at an incredible pace. While remote working opportunities have been on the agenda for many companies for some time now, the landscape only began to truly grow in 2020. We discovered this year that it is possible to operate a productive and effective team without keeping people shackled to the office.

Unfortunately, without the right connections, it isn’t easy to truly connect the in-office and remote working landscape. As more companies embrace hybrid working environments with both remote and traditional employees, 5G will offer unbroken access to amazing connections anywhere. Mobile workers will be able to send HD video to in-office counterparts. We could even connect remote teams using VR and AR.

Remote and mobile employees will also be able to access important information in a hurry. Field workers will have the option to download large files full of data in seconds on their smart devices. Employees will be able to communicate in real-time about a customer issue.

3.   The Internet of Things

One of the biggest benefits of 5G, is that it opens the door to other forms of disruptive technology in the workplace. 5G’s ultra low latency and incredible capacity means that it can do a lot more than just make your smartphone more productive. Vodafone recently introduced a haptic suit created to help people feel the impact of a rugby tackle from a pro player in real time.

With 5G, wearable devices will be able to transmit and access data at incredible speeds, allowing for instance feedback from patients to doctors in the healthcare environment. 5G also opens the doors to other forms of immersive IoT experiences.

The internet of things is rapidly transforming the workplace into a connected and intelligent environment, where every machine and person is linked. We’re already seeing applications of IoT in various parts of the world, but with 5G, we’ll be able to connect to a whole new range of smart devices with greater accuracy and performance.

Imagine a future where connected factories can operate to build products without a human being on site. Think about the safety implications of machines that can build new products without requiring manual operations. All of this is possible with 5G.

4.   AI and Machine Learning

As well as boosting the uptake of IoT technology, 5G may also increase the adoption of artificial intelligence solutions too. One of the biggest barriers that many companies face when embracing AI is that limited processing speeds make training tools a lengthy and expensive process.

5G promises to overcome this issue by delivering data transfer speeds that are up to 10 times faster than 4G. That means that AI applications can find and process data at an incredible rate. Intelligence machines that can process data faster can also learn from that information and make necessary improvements to processes much quicker.

As the 5G landscape continues to evolve, more tools in the artificial intelligence space will begin to enter the marketplace. We’ll see more advanced bots that can respond to customer queries and concerns at an incredible rate. Virtual assistants will be able to analyse information in a conversation and provide suggestions to customer service agents in an instant.

The arrival of faster, more intelligent connections will transform the way that people connect with the brands that they love.

How 5G will impact countless industries

All companies have the potential to benefit from the arrival of 5G. Whether you’re a small business experimenting with improving customer experience, or a larger enterprise investing in IoT, the possibilities of 5G are incredible. Even if this technology just helps you to hire more diverse talent from around the world, the outcomes will be significant.

Here are some examples of how 5G can impact different industries:

  • Healthcare: The concept of remote healthcare and surgery isn’t new. The first operation to happen remotely occurred in 2001. However, the low latency levels of 5G mean that you can now carry out remote surgeries and procedures as a doctor with robotic tools. 5G allows patient data to be accessible in real-time too. AI solutions can then analyse this information and ensure it’s accurate before sending it to a clinician with suggestions of what to do next.
  • Automotive: Driverless cars are a fantastic opportunity to become more realistic in the age of 5G. Autonomous vehicles will rely on the super low latency of 5G for constant communications with other vehicles to prevent a crash. Real-time monitoring will also be able to detect whether a driver has a medical issue or a condition that prevents them from driving, so AI can take the wheel.
  • Manufacturing: Delivering 5G is crucial to the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution. Already, many companies in this landscape are beginning to experiment with things like IoT enabled machines that allow for more control from remote engineers. Manufacturing companies could also use 5G to make it easier for employees to train with VR and AR technologies and learn how to use new machines.
  • Retail: Retail companies are regularly experimenting with the arrival of virtual experiences. Using AR apps, customers can see what items of furniture might look good in their homes, or which pieces of clothing will suit them best. A 5G enabled headset could even give customers the freedom to walk around a showroom from miles away.
  • Entertainment: The low latency of 5G means that developers in the games and entertainment landscape can move processing to the cloud, so users don’t need consoles to be as powerful. This would make it easier for people to access memorable entertainment experiences from a television or a mobile device.

Don’t ignore 5G

If you haven’t started to implement a strategy for 5G yet, now could be a perfect time. Any industry can benefit from 5G with the right planning and strategy in place. All you need to do is start by identifying the new opportunities that a better connection could deliver for your team.

Get involved with a company like Nice Network to explore the potential of things like IoT connections and mobility for your employees. The 5G revolution isn’t just something that companies can look forward to – it’s an experience that’s already here.