5G is almost here and when it arrives it's going to be fast.
Major markets are ramping up now, with the expectation that 5G will be widely deployed in 2020. What does that mean for the world? Faster load times, speedier connections and brand-new devices.
What does it mean for your business? Likely the same thing, along with some IT upgrades and the new possibilities that come with higher speeds.
Although 5G is likely to be widespread in two years, some carriers — like Verizon — are launching sooner, so now is the time to start thinking about upgrading your IT. For example, your organization may want to consider:
- how you use streaming video
- converting processes that update in real-time
- mobile application development that takes advantage of 5G
- reviewing your Internet of Things (IoT)
- purchasing new antennae, devices and other hardware
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How fast is 'fast'?
5G NR (which stands for "fifth generation new radio," in case you've been wondering) is a lot faster than what you're used to, boasting download speeds of 100Gbps verses 4G's 10Gbps.
That means that 5G's wireless connection will be faster than most in-home internet services. This is a potential game-changer for companies that want to embrace the benefits of wireless — streaming live feeds from wireless devices from a phone or tablet, for example — but which aren't comfortable with the lag time and buffering of 4G.
With 5G, organizations don't have to be wary of streaming live video, sending large high-definition videos or sending massive amounts of data wirelessly. The faster speeds will reduce latency, or lag time, to about one millisecond, a development that will reduce the limitations of mobile apps.
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To prep for 5G, you may want to invest in mobile application development, creating apps that rely on faster speeds to deliver more data or incorporate streaming video.
5G will also have implications for the Internet of Things; the network is designed to connect more devices than 4G, so a business interested in expanding their IoT will want to investigate 5G and start preparing now.
A word about hardware
Fast as it is; however, 5G has also got a shorter range.
If you plan to use 5G inside a building, or if your organization is in a more rural area, you're going to want to look at upgrading your hardware or purchasing antennas.
Phones and tablets will certainly need an upgrade. Current devices will keep chugging along on 3G and 4G; 5G requires antennas that aren't out yet — nor are there many details available on those right now. However, you can bet you'll be hearing more about them as we move into 2019.
5G is on the way, and the better prepared you are, the better able you will be to take advantage of its speed. Now is the time to create a strategy and start investing in your infrastructure.
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