What Does 5G Network Bring to the Small Business Table?
After the long wait, the 5G network is finally at our doorstep. 5G was a decade in the making and it’s now entering its final stage before it becomes available for commercial use. As you may already know, 5G is the next level of the wireless network. Every “G” (Generation, if you’re wondering what the G is all about) had something new to offer to the broad audience.
The first-gen, for instance, enabled mobile phones to exist, in the first place while the second-gen provided us with the texting feature. That sounds trivial compared to the third-gen which was the dawn of the smartphone era while the current 4G allowed us to have access to streaming services. Now that the 5G is almost here, what will it bring to the table and what does that mean for small businesses? Let’s find out, shall we?
What exactly is the 5G network?
As mentioned before, the 5G network is the next level or the next generation of wireless connectivity. Each generation brought something new to the world of mobile and 5G is estimated to be more revolutionizing that all the previous gens. The feature 5G will bring to the table is speed. Exhilarating, isn’t it? No, that doesn’t sound new or revolutionizing at all. However, when talking about speed in the 5G network, it’s not just about the increase in mobile speed.
As a matter of fact, it’s also about reducing latency or lag, if you’re more familiar with that term, tenfold. Latency is a time delay in the transfer of data packets between sender and receiver and vice versa. What that means is that the 5G network will vastly improve communications. In terms of speed, 5G promises gigabit download speeds compared to today’s 20 Mb/s average. In terms of latency, 5G will reduce the lag to a single millisecond compared to 4Gs 10- to 20-millisecond delays.
Why do small businesses need 5G?
Today, mobile traffic is based on 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network which is slightly faster than regular 4G but not as fast as 5G. In other words, this is the network your smartphones and tablets use once they disconnect from a Wi-Fi network. That being said, a lot of carriers throughout major cities in the world are starting to run out of LTE capacity and it’s causing a slow service.
The main reason is that there’s a drastic increase in mobile users. As an example, in the U.S. alone, mobile users used up 15.7 megabytes of mobile data in 2017 which is a 40 times increase in traffic compared to 2010. Traffic will continue to increase, which is why small businesses need the 5G network which is based on efficient fiber internet. 5G promises to provide an increase in broadband capacity that will be essential to small business communications.
Improvement in the IoT field
Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword throughout the business world lately. Many small businesses have embraced the IoT trend, in order to gain more insight into their customers and develop new approaches to customer service and support. The 5G network will aid small businesses in this endeavor. With the reduction in latency and an increase in mobile speed, the IoT devices will perform better than ever.
As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that the 5G network can effectively support up to a million connected devices per square kilometer (0,39 square miles). For small businesses that invest in IoT, this innovation can help vastly improve business operations, efficiency and overall performance on the market, which can also result in small businesses being able to greatly improve customer experience. Not only that, but small businesses will also be able to develop new and improved customer personalization strategies.
Benefits to small businesses
The 5G network’s speed seems like nothing new has been introduced. However, mobile speed has everything to do with how small businesses operate and communicate with not just their customers but with their associates as well. The capabilities 5G network will provide won’t affect just communications and IoT performance.
The fact of the matter is that a significant increase in mobile speed will also have a positive impact on artificial intelligence (AI) features, mobile virtual and augmented reality, automation and the list goes on. Although 5G isn’t officially here yet, it’s estimated to become more mainstream somewhere in 2020. However, how disruptive it will be towards small business infrastructure remains to be seen. One thing is for sure and that’s that small business will stand to gain a lot from leveraging this new generation of mobile traffic.
Although 5G has already experienced some controversy, there’s no denying the fact that modern technology has made significant progress in upgrading the mobile network to suit the ever-growing market needs and demands. Just how revolutionizing 5G will actually be is uncertain yet. We’ll just have to wait a bit more until this network is fully integrated into our everyday lives.