How 5G Will Change The Business World

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Key Takeaways

-5G technology provides radically-faster connections (up to 20-gigabytes per second)

-The latency (or lag) of a connection drops drastically

-5G is set to provide the backbone for expanding the internet of things

-Critical infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and remote operations will be powered by high-speed, low latency networks employing 5G

-5G utilises non-ionising radiation, which has been shown to have little-to-no adverse side effects on humans.

The steady progression toward 5G technology has enabled a new way of operating in our personal and professional lives that we often take it for granted. In current times, with people working remotely en masse, this wouldn’t have been possible with the previous iterations of wireless communications from data providing networks. 5G, otherwise known as the fifth-generation of wireless networks is currently in the process of being rolled out around the globe’s modern economies, and with its high-bandwidth and low latency, it’s going to profoundly transform the economy in a number of ways, which we’re going to talk about today.

The first benefit of 5G technology is enabling speeds that we haven’t yet seen. If you run a speed test on your device right now, you’ll see anywhere between 1-megabyte per second all the way to 100, depending on the quality of your connection and internet service provider's capabilities. With the fifth-generation, however, providers are claiming a radical increase to bandwidth, all the way from 15-20-gigabytes per second. The everyday benefits of this is that you’ll rely less on your device’s physical storage and be able to leverage the cloud with next-to-zero lag, meaning that you’ll always be able to access far more information than ever before with rapid speed. Researchers are also pointing to 5G’s lower latency - the delay or lag you’ll experience using a current provider in peak times, or if you’re in a geographic location with slower connection speeds - to the point that it’s indiscernible. 5G technology also dramatically increases the network’s capacity to connect to more devices, and serve them with a high-speed connection, in spite of the fact there’s exponentially more devices connected. If you’re dealing with large file sizes that you need to upload for a client, this process will be expedited and your time will be better spent on something productive rather than waiting for a file to be transferred. The speed in which an organisation will be able to operate is set to transform dramatically with 5G.

Perhaps most significantly of all, 5G is the technology that is the critical enabler of the ‘internet of things’ into the future, which allows new technologies to communicate with each other, and has the potential to create a completely new sector of the economy in and of itself. The potential for remote workers or companies looking to invest in their remote capabilities - be it auditing, or reviewing the capabilities of suppliers - is absolutely massive when you’re utilising the speed of 5G technology. It will allow millions of new connections to the network without restricting the rapid speed in which you’re able to operate at.

One example of this is the rise of autonomous vehicles that require the transmission of huge amounts of data safely navigate and communicate with other cars, and critical infrastructure like traffic lights and live updates. Another is the possibility of doctors connecting to medical devices remotely to treat their patients, breaking down the previously inhibiting geographical restraints and providing care to patients in even the most remote parts of a country where medical infrastructure might be lacking. With 4G networks, there’s a significant amount of lag - not to the human eye, but it certainly exists - that means critical activities like remote surgery wouldn’t be a possibility. A report from CNET, however, cites the example of the King’s College London who teamed up with NeuroDigital Technologies who provided a surgeon with a virtual reality headset and a special glove that would transmit even the smallest of movements to a robotic arm treating a dummy patient. “The glove was fitted with haptic feedback motors that buzzed when you touched the dummy’s organs, giving you the sensation that you were actually touching it… companies are calling this idea the ‘internet of skills’ that would enable you to transfer your expertise over a great distance in real-time using robotics and haptic feedback,” they write. Without 5G networks, this simply wouldn’t have been possible.

It’s worth noting some of the concerns out there from certain segments of the population that seem adamantly opposed to the roll-out of the 5G network, citing the lack of research out there on 5G exposure. The World Health Organisation has previously stated that there are “no adverse health effects [that] have been established as being caused by mobile phone use,” that was connected to a 5G signal. The point that critics are making, however, states a classification from the WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that shows that all radio frequency stations are “possibly carcinogenic.” A report from the BBC cites a study that found no cancer link for the female rats or the mice that were studied. So long as the radio waveband employed by 5G technology does not cross the ionising threshold, which has the potential to break apart DNA and cause cellular damage. That report quotes Dr David Robert Grimes who said that “people are understandable concerned over whether they might elevate their risk of cancer, but it’s crucial to note that radio waves are far less energetic than even the visible light we experience every day… there is no reputable evidence that mobile phones or wireless networks have caused us health problems,” he said.

All things considered, 5G is set to transform the speed in which we operate online, and expand the scope of possibilities to the point that even the most futuristic of concepts are set to become a reality. You should remain open to considering how your organisation can capitalise on the roll-out of a 5G network, because it's worth noting that proactive businesses are already looking at how they can adapt and improve their operations to make use of the increased speed and connectivity of the next-generation network.

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