5G is a relatively new concept for many businesses to consider and following the widespread roll out of 4G happening only five or six years ago, is 5G worth all the hype?
It is true that there is a lot of hype surrounding 5G as the ‘smart new thing’ which businesses must have, however, the much faster data speeds, better connectivity and virtually no time lag which 5G delivers, it does appear that 5G is poised to usher in a new era in telecommunications.
With 4G commonly known as the era of the 'Smartphone' the current trajectory of 5G should see it becoming known as the 'Internet of Things Era’ with almost universal connectivity between people, devices and everyday objects.
Better still, when the benefits of 5G are supported with Vodafone’s ground breaking range of ’Business Unlimited’ plans and unlimited access to data, the benefits of 5G for UK businesses is huge.
Speed + Connectivity + Real Time = Productivity!
Yes, 5G will mean your business representatives can download data at speeds up to 10 times quicker than 4G and they should retain connectivity in extremely busy and populated areas, however, when low latency is added to the mix your staff will be able to access business critical systems and applications in near real time.
This means whether they are uploading reports, utilising online calculators or giving an online demo on-site with a prospective client, their experience will be similar to those accessing the same systems from within an office using fixed line connectivity.
Advances such as this will allow your staff to maintain their productivity whilst out on the road and should eventually see many more developments in terms of the types of business application which are available and can be used when your staff are mobile and in the field.
This will bring real benefits to both flexible working and for remote workers working from home or at their client’s premises!
How Will 5G Transform Key Industries & Technologies?
Whilst a lot of the real benefits of 5G are yet to be seen a number of high-tech applications are already making changes in the industries they serve.
Virtual, Mixed & Augmented Reality
5G is poised to allow cutting-edge technologies such as Virtual Reality to take Video Conferencing to the next level and enable remote workers to join a virtual boardroom and interact with other meeting attendees as if they were in the same room as one another.
Mixed Reality is already showing signs of success in healthcare circles with graphical overlays being transposed onto an area being operated on in order to guide surgeons regarding critical arteries or nerves and without requiring the surgeon to stop for time consuming X-Rays and Ultrasounds to double check that they are working in a safe area.
Augmented Reality is currently best known for simple applications such as overlaying dinosaurs or cartoons onto our physical world by looking through smart glasses or headsets. Over time this technology should evolve into areas such as the entertainment industry with concert goers or sports fans able to enjoy that ‘big game’ sensation through virtual reality headsets whilst sitting in their own home.
Whilst autonomous vehicles won’t be a true business benefit for many companies they may aid employees getting around more efficiently and to continue to work on their way to meetings or whilst commuting to and from work.
This could eventually see office-based hours being reduced as employees complete more of their daily task during their commute.
Obvious sectors such as transport, logistics, taxis and couriers should all become net beneficiaries of autonomous vehicles a technology which is only possible through the near real-time connectivity and low latency provided by 5G.
'Internet of Things' enabled buildings will allow much better monitoring of a building’s energy consumption and have the ability to automatically switch off various services such as air-conditioning, heating or lighting based on low usage and turn them on again in anticipation of their requirement based on previous user actions (or their proximity).
The healthcare industry is ripe for transformation through the increased connectivity which 5G can bring. A few examples of this could be through the deployment of IoT technology in smart ambulances so that an injured patient’s vital statistics are automatically sent to the nearest emergency room; through sensors passing real-time traffic information to the ambulance driver to ensure they get their patient to hospital as quickly as possible; and by updating the hospital so that they have accurate information on when they should expect the patient to arrive and the symptoms they are presenting. Other use cases include training surgeons on life critical procedures in a virtual world rather than on real patients; remote and robotic surgery; and through the ability to provide access to patient records to relevant medical consultants or event to the patients themselves through a Patient Portal.
How Will Your Business Innovate And Evolve With 5G?
Whilst a lot of the technologies mentioned above are quite industry specific, UK businesses should still see a net benefit from moving up to 5G mobile connectivity. General benefits may simply be achieved through:
- The sheer speed of data downloads
- Less dropped calls
- Better call quality on the move
- Real-time access to business critical applications.
Others will be derived from special use cases relevant to your own industry and business requirements. True innovators will however identify the benefits of using 5G and develop their own specific technology to improve processes and increase productivity and in some cases bring products and solutions to market for the benefit of their own customers.
It remains to be seen how UK businesses will adopt the new world which 5G promises to bring.
Whether you see 5G improving the efficiency and productivity of your business processes or you have a specific use case to explore, please get in touch with one of our experienced business advisors to find out more about 5G and the exciting new range of 'Business Unlimited' plans available no matter where you are located.