The first 5G networks have rolled out and early 5G smartphones have come to market. But what does 5G actually mean for businesses and consumers?
Years in the making, 5G is finally here. The first 5G networks have started to roll out, meaning that one of the most hyped technologies of recent years is finally shifting from being a mere concept to an actual reality.
However, for some, there is still a question mark hanging over this next-generation connectivity. One of the most common arguments rolled out by the 5G doubters is ‘why do we need 5G when we already have Wi-Fi and 4G?’.
What’s clear is that there’s an appetite to learn about 5G and where better to start than the technological benefits that it offers. 5G represents a much bigger leap than previous iterations of network connectivity and will enable the development of innovative technologies like never before. In fact, compared to current 4G networks, 5G will offer 50 times more speed, with 10 times less latency and a staggering 1,000 times more capacity.
It’s important to note that 5G won’t completely replace 4G as soon it arrives. Instead, it will initially run alongside the existing 4G networks providing an improved service, just as 4G still runs on top of 3G. On its arrival, 4G enabled a range of new technologies such as video streaming and video calling, but 5G is set to take things forward by a giant leap.
Agile, purpose-built networks will form the backbone of 5G. To prepare for this new era of connectivity, Communications Service Providers are dropping fixed-function hardware in favour of software-defined computing platforms and pushing intelligence to the network edge.
Leading technology companies are fast developing technologies that will support the rollout of these next-generation networks and working with industry partners to ensure all the benefits are harnessed.
Who will benefit?
As 5G technology moves out of the lab and into the real world, it will bring with it ripples of innovation that will swell into huge waves of opportunity for businesses all over the globe. A significant technological step over 4G, 5G will have a huge impact on the global economy, generating a massive $10 trillion of revenue by 2035, according to ABI Research.
The new generation of 5G networks are being designed to support a broad range of devices and use cases that will help to transform entire industries. Helping to usher in industry 4.0, 5G will drive the future of everything from smart agriculture and precision manufacturing to personalised retail and connected healthcare.