There’s been a lot of hype about 5G, the next generation of cellular technology. It will build on 4G and LTE, offering faster mobile broadband speeds, extremely reliable low-latency connections, and enabling machine-to-machine connections like never before. As wonderful as this new technology is, it is a work in progress, and requires consideration before adopting. Read on to learn more about the promise and progress of 5G cellular technology.
Business Benefits of 5G Technology
While 5G will provide more streamlined and enjoyable experiences of non-business computing, the benefits to businesses of all sizes are even more exciting. The key questions about cellular coverage have always been about coverage, capacity and bandwidth. Is there a strong signal between the device and the cell tower? Can that tower handle traffic from multiple users at all times? Will data transfer be fast enough for requested services? The new generation of cellular technology aims to answer these questions. Data that might have been lost due to latency will be easily captured, allowing sharper decision-making in real time. The higher broadband speeds (1-2 gigabytes-per-second downloads) will accommodate more traffic and facilitate uninterrupted communication. Companies can convert from a local cable/DSL internet connection to one powered by 5G. The technology will promote automation, leading to smart cities, wearable healthcare telemetry, and real-time management.
Progress Catching up to Hype
While this technology has wonderful potential, much still needs to be done. Since 2019, though, 5G has caught on with cellular technology, with some carriers providing 5G to their customers. Instead of larger cells that were a hallmark of previous generations of technology, 5G will require the building of numerous small cells. Such cells can be placed on light poles or on building rooftops. Another decision relates to the spectrum used–whether high- mid- or low-band, and how large a block is owned in each market. Will the frequency travel far enough, and be able to penetrate buildings to allow workers to use the bandwidth? One source suggests using different frequencies in different areas (for example, high bandwidth in urban areas). The technology will be deployed in stages, in order to accommodate greater numbers of mobile, internet-connected devices. In the coming decade, 5G will become mainstream, and companies need to be sure their networks and employees are ready.
Is Your Company Ready for 5G?
With so much data being generated, the question arises: how to protect it? Since more and more devices will be connected to 5G, the threat attack surface is expanded perhaps exponentially. Questions to consider include how to store the data generated, and keep it safe as well as in compliance with privacy regulations. Not only will the network need to be protected with monitoring and current definitions for malware and virus protection, but devices too. And workers will need to be trained (or need a refresher) on password policies. Finally, business networks need to be robust enough to handle the rapid bandwidth increase.
The fifth generation (5G) of cellular technology is exciting, and it will be interesting to see what the next few years bring. For guidance in your preparation for 5G, contact your trusted technology advisor today.