When it comes to business innovation, you can’t look beyond digitisation. But for this to happen, you need fast and reliable internet. Enter 5G! Although we’ve been talking about this for some time, it’s likely that 2022 is when we’re going to witness the real impact of 5G. Having spent the past few months pivoting to our ‘new normal’ of remote accessibility – from shopping and banking to socialising – we can now embrace 5G technology in the latest business trends.
What is 5G?
You might’ve heard the term but aren’t quite up to speed on this super-fast connectivity jargon. Simply put, 5G is the fifth-generation wireless technology that can handle more connected devices and provide a more seamless online experience for users.
What are the top business trends in 5G?
We’re going to countdown the business trends enabled by 5G in 2022, and while some of these might already be in existence, we’re going to see them fine-tuned and mainstreamed as we enter the next phase.
10. Further reach into rural sectors
This is great news for South Africa where a lot of rural communities are side-lined from economic activity because of a lack of connectivity. The expansion of 5G technology will bring this sector into society and allow them to explore different avenues of revenue.
9. Driving video consumption
We’ve seen the sudden rise in Netflix, Prime and ShowMax subscriptions as people realise the efficiency and quality available on streaming services. Businesses will be looking to communicate messaging in video format rather than print as the rise in video consumption continues into 2022.
8. Privacy rules dominate
Timed with the arrival of South Africa’s POPI Act, privacy rules related to personal information online will become a challenge for businesses that are slow to adapt. With 5G enabling more online communication, it’s important that businesses keep on top of the POPI requirements, protect clients’ information and are more careful with their messaging.
7. Driving app performance
Because 5G offers a more reliable network access and less data loss, it’s likely that more customers will turn to apps – which means more businesses will be improving or developing apps. Once again, this is great news for those in more rural sectors of society.
6. AI and automation
In terms of trends, AI and automation are not going to be going away until they become mainstream, so expect more of this 5G-enabled technology. Businesses will continue to harness and develop ways to incorporate this technology to provide a better customer experience through aspects like immersive brand experiences, as well as solving problems faster and more effectively.
5. Connecting to IoT devices
Homes and offices will also be digitised through 5G as more devices are able to connect and communicate. This is leading the way directly to smart homes, smart offices and smart cities.
4. The metaverse
The renaming of Facebook to Meta shows that 2022 is looking to take the AI and automation further with an immersive metaverse experience where we actually ‘step into’ the virtual world and conduct our lives there. We’re not going to be going completely Ready Player One in 2022 but it’s likely we’ll be taking a leap in that direction next year.
3. Agricultural improvements
That’s right, even farming is getting in on the 5G action with increased digitisation. This technology is allowing for the capture of all manner of farming-related data which allows for increased efficiency. By documenting relevant climate information as well as monitoring supply of products needed for growing and harvesting, the entire process can be improved and bottom line increased.
2. More tech spend
Because 5G allows for more reliance on technical devices, companies will be looking to invest in more hardware, software and services than before. There’s likely to be more vendors emerging, more options available, and the lowering of prices in a more competitive market.
1. Remote working environments
Precipitated by the arrival of Covid-19, the remote working setup is likely to become entrenched in company policy in 2022. For organisations where remote working has been effective, 5G will see this become an option – likely with some form of in-office meetings required from time to time.