5 Reasons 5G Will Matter To The World

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 29, 2016


There’s a lot of buzz around 5G and all of it is not just hype. A range of hardware and network companies have already announced trials of versions of 5G networks in operations. A key focus of the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2016) in Barcelona last week was also around advances in implementing 5G, the version of mobile wireless networks that will replace the current 4G. 

It is expected that these trials will lead to 5G being generally available not before the next 4-5 years.  However, the upcoming technology will allow many more connections than the current 4G networks besides, consuming lesser power and energy from devices. This would mean businesses will find a cheaper and more efficient technology to boost innovation. Here are some of 5G’s obvious benefits.

1. Exponential boost in data speeds

Experts believe 5G will bring massive improvements in data rates with speeds up to 10 Gbps. This would mean that an HD movie will download in seconds with 5G.According to AT&T, 5G speeds could be measured in gigabits per second, rather than megabits per second. Verizon, the company says that 5G data speeds will be up to 100 times faster than 4G LTE speeds. This means, programming that takes minutes to download now will only take a few seconds on next-generation networks.

“5G can bring greater operational efficiencies in the enterprise, while offering more visibility for managers and business leaders,” states Robert Plant, Associate Professor, School of Business Administration, University of Miami in his blog. he mentioned that 5G would enable higher bandwidth data to be provided to systems that require large data volumes to function at maximum effect. For example, remote control air-drones could provide their operators with higher degrees of data while performing refined scanning and localized processing. This technology could be used to improve road traffic visibility and help farmers deploy geographic information systems in real time.

2. Low Latency, high flexibility

Experts believe, low transmission latency is reputed to be one of the key factors that make 5G a potentially vital technology. Latency is the time it takes for a signal to be beamed from a tower and received by a device. The lower the latency, the more quickly it can respond. A report by Huawei noted that 4G networks have average latency of 50 milliseconds. With 5G, latency is reduced to just 1 millisecond.

For connected cars, smart homes and other devices expecting to take advantage of 5G networks, that latency boost could prove extremely important. This is also one reason 5G could be used to deploy broadband more easily to rural areas using millimeter wave technology.

3. Big support Internet of Things

While 5G will expand the capabilities of mobiles phones, the main marketing focus of companies like Intel, Ericsson and Cisco was to emphasise 5G’s ability to support the Internet of Things. As Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, Ericsson, says: “5G is about more than faster mobile services – it will enable new use cases related to the Internet of Things.

According to Gartner, The Internet of Things will grow to 21 billions devices by 2020 and be a US $3 trillion a year industry. Cisco goes even further, estimating 50 billion devices and US $8 trillion in value. With estimates like these, one can understand why telecommunication companies and even governments would see the importance of 5G networks.

Read more: ITU Sets Up Vision For 5G Systems

4. A boost to Self-Driving Vehicles

In addition to the Internet of things, 5G will be critical in “driving” self-driving cars. Today’s autonomous vehicle technology relies in part on connections through cellular towers to determine location, where other cars might be and more. If there eventually are many self-driving cars on the road, they’ll need to talk to each other to avoid accidents.

Experts believe, due to latency problems, cars connected to a 4G network and driving at about 60 miles per hour will travel for more than 4 feet before it receives a message that an obstacle is in front of it. A lot of bad things can happen in that time and space. On a 5G network, however, that signal is sent far more quickly, allowing the car to move just 2.8 centimeters before it responds to the impending threat, said the recent Huawei report.

In other scenarios, devices could be used in monitoring buildings, structures and spaces and the movement of people and things through all of them. The Internet of Things, used in this way could potentially bring about so-called “Smart Cities”, with many potential benefits.

5. Benefits to the eco-system

5G will bring a whole lot of benefits to more segments than one - in other words, it can be beneficial to the entire ecosystem. Take for example, the CSPs. 5G network will make services much easier and cheaper. Leading service areas include smart grids, smart buildings, smart cities, smart transport, smart government, e-health and many others. This however requires operators to change their existing business models and costs models to tap the emerging opportunities. 5G will allow flexible value creation scope on network level so that partners can build and launch faster solutions in the market.

5G will enable enterprises to fulfill their needs such as security, privacy, reliability, and latency. Enterprise will also be able to enhance their work process and applications by using exposure capabilities like location, analytics etc. In other word, enterprises will gain extra level of consistency. 5G will allow business verticals to operate their functions and capabilities flexibly such as offering service having high degree of self service in built to save costs, and to make it profitable. 

For the customer, the difference between the current 4G standards and 5G will be in higher speeds, lower battery consumption, better coverage, higher number of supported devices, lower infrastructure costs, higher versatility and scalability or higher reliability of communications. It will also expedite quicker development of new services ecosystem and will enhance experience by providing contextual information supporting personalized end-user experience.