Fifth-generation wireless, or 5G, is a family of technologies including 4G Evolution, NB-IoT and 5G new radio that will increase the maximum speed and reliability of mobile networks, reduce latency and enable a large number of devices to connect to cell sites, supporting the growth of the Internet of Things.
What does is mean for businesses?
With 5G, users will enjoy higher and more consistent average speeds – the peak rate will reach and exceed 1Gbps.
5G will drastically reduce latency, the time between performing an action and getting a response – a round trip will decrease from 20ms to 10ms, with potential to be even lower. This will enable technologies like augmented reality to be utilized by enterprises to enable, for example, engineers to see a virtual layout of a system and get remote expert assistance to fix it, all in real time.
In the same way that 4G was characterized by growing usage of smartphones, 5G will enable the Internet of Things to flourish. 5G technologies, including Narrowband IoT, enable far more devices to connect simultaneously to mobile sites through active antennas. On top of that, the low latency and high reliability opens the door to future applications like autonomous vehicles or drone control.
5G also opens the possibility of putting computing power closer to the edge of the network to reduce latency even further – Multi-Access Edge Computing or MEC. Think gaming as an example and then extend that to anything that uses automation or Virtual Reality.
Manufacturing, automotive, construction, healthcare and utilities are only a few of the sectors that will highly benefit from 5G solutions. Autonomous cars, telemedicine, Artificial Intelligence and robotics will soon become reality in our everyday lives.