Building on from the existing 4G LTE network, the 5th Generation (5G) network will bring far more connectivity advancements. Although it’s relatively new in South Africa, here’s a look at some of the benefits of 5G for business.
Key features of Business 5G
To get a baseline understanding of why 5G is the hottest topic in terms of network connectivity, here’s a look at the features that set it apart.
– 5G speeds
One of the biggest selling points of 5G is the internet speed. With the Internet of Things (IoT) introducing a much more internet-reliant way of life, fast internet is crucial for almost all business-related activities. 5G is eventually anticipated to be around 100 times faster than the current 4G networks, offering speeds of around 10Gb/s.
– Reduced latency
Delayed communication will be a thing of the past as 5G networks take hold. Considering the dramatic rise in conference and video calling amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, a reduction in latency is crucial for modern business operations. Currently, the 4G networks have a lag of up to 50 milliseconds – this will be reduced to 1 millisecond (or less) with 5G networks.
– Increased capacity
The aforementioned IoT in the workplace means an ever-increasing number of devices will be connected to the network. 5G will have the capacity to cope with the higher demand of mobile devices.
– Network slicing
With 5G, a single physical network can be sliced into multiple virtual networks. These are able to support different radio access networks (RANs), or different service types running across a single RAN. This allows businesses to tailor the network for their requirements.
– Improved reliability
The advancements in 5G technology will result in a much more reliable network overall. This means issues such as dropped calls and interrupted connectivity will be eliminated. This is vital for businesses dealing in critical operations such as healthcare or data storage.
What this means for business
Ultimately, these key features will all work to create a much more effective workspace, where businesses are able to operate, unencumbered by connectivity issues. Some of the impacts of 5G on business include:
– Better battery life
Costs related to the replacement of batteries across industries is exceptionally high. Added to this is the productivity impact of devices with shortened battery lives. The 5G network is actually expected to extend the battery life of all workplace devices – in some instances, by up to 10 times.
– Distance working
If there’s one thing the national lockdown has shown, it’s that many businesses are able to operate in a decentralised manner. This means employees don’t necessarily have to be sitting at a desk, 9 to 5, to be productive. However, remote working depends on reliable mobile connectivity – which is where 5G comes in. Businesses will be able to save on expenses related to property rental and office equipment when they can rely more and more on employees to perform through distance working.
– Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
What was once limited to the realm on online gaming has subsequently entered the business environment as 5G enables AR and VR capabilities. The support provided for these applications will see many industries adopting AR and VR innovations, including the retail, entertainment, tourism, manufacturing, property and construction industries. At the most basic level, elements such as video conferencing will drastically improve through 5G capability; while advancements in simulations will allow people to ‘visit’ tourism destinations or properties ahead of investing.
– Rural innovation
5G will allow South Africans residing in rural locations to access internet more easily. This will unlock a number of business opportunities in the more remote areas, in terms of retail, agriculture and even access to online services. This could minimise the ongoing urbanisation and overcrowding, while empowering South Africans in rural areas with connectivity.
The opportunities 5G affords business are seemingly endless, and with the network only really taking hold now, there is so much business potential to be explored. It’s worth consulting with leading 5G suppliers on the possibility of 5G connectivity if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
Did you know: 5G will complement the existing fibre network by offering a much more cohesive internet experience.