5G is expected to shape this decade and play a critical role in the digital economy for decades to come. And while it’s easy to get excited about breakneck download speeds and killer apps, 5G offers so much more for the corporate world. The 5G network being rolled out in a location near you and right across Australia is giving every business the opportunity to undergo wholesale digital transformation and adopt end-to-end digital capabilities.
What is 5G?
To fully leverage the benefits of 5G for enterprise, it’s important to understand what the next generation of mobile networks offers. Before jumping ahead to how 5G is set to revolutionise business capabilities, here’s a brief reminder about the technology:
5G is the new broadband mobile network that will augment and replace existing 4G LTE connectivity. 5G promises dramatically faster download and upload speeds and will severely slash latency – the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks.
Last year, we learnt that we’ll be living in a world of 25 billion IoT connections by 2050. Businesses, factories, and critical infrastructure will all rely on 5G data connectivity as smart devices with sensors monitor everything, everywhere, all of the time.
Already, during the time of COVID-19 connected technologies have become acutely mission critical, supporting the huge pivot to remote working and studying, and enabling mainstream telehealth applications.
The shift to 5G for the enterprise promises speed, data capacity and device density on a whole new level, delivering rich, immersive digital experiences. Wireless WAN applications that are currently working with 4G will be far superior with 5G. Whereas applications that cannot run with 4G, such as immersive experiences including VR and AR, will be free-flowing in 5G through more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit. This means we can expect to see significant improvements in telemedicine, physical therapy via AR, precision surgery, and even remote surgery.
5G network expansion will allow all businesses to take advantage of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability and security and with it enable new services to transform entire industries. Thanks to ultra-reliable, available, low-latency, remote control of critical infrastructure and heavy machinery will become a reality. This will allow businesses to reduce risk in hazardous environments and allow technicians with specialised skills to control machinery from anywhere in the world.
With the opportunity 5G brings, simply buying into the new technology to improve current processes is likely to prove a short-sighted business move. Yes, it offers faster connectivity, vaster data capacity, and greater device density connecting to more endpoints, but the real value of 5G is transformational.
With cloud computing and the IoT now being deployed to enhance business processes, 5G can build on this, helping organisations make end-to-end operational processes a reality with digital transformation.
Providing lean and low-cost connectivity solutions, 5G will make connecting a huge number of embedded sensors a reality. As an example, 5G integrated with the IoT paves the way for end-to-end supply-chains integrated with fulfillment and inventory management. With this, businesses can heighten demand forecasting accuracy, align supply with demand, respond faster to customer needs, and achieve more on-time deliveries – satisfying more customers.
Of course, autonomous vehicles are likely to be a big part of end-to-end supply-chains. With 5G, vehicles will be able to communicate with other vehicles on the road, sharing information to other vehicles about road conditions, and even provide performance information to automakers and insurance providers. 5G enabling vehicle-to-vehicle communication could potentially save lives and make our roads safer.
As 5G becomes central to every overarching business strategy now and in the future, it’s important to plan your move. Whether that’s by focusing on business locations with poor performance, gearing up to adopt the types of applications your business could use if bandwidth wasn’t an issue, investing in ruggedized solutions that operate in challenging environmental conditions, or expanding network diversity to mitigate risk when primary links fail.
imei works with Australia’s leading providers of 5G for business solutions and has a range of capabilities to help organisations heighten security, manageability and reliability to help your business maximise the vast potential of 5G.