5G is the fifth generation of mobile technology. In the right conditions, 5G download speeds can reach 10 gigabits per second. That's up to 100 times faster than 4G and it is creating ground-breaking opportunities for people and businesses. It will entirely change what we can do with mobile connectivity. 

5G offers greater bandwidth capability, faster download speeds, lower latency and many more benefits than its predecessors. It’s the perfect step-up from 4G and is advancing societies, transforming industries and completely reshaping both our professional and personal lives. Services that we used to see as futuristic, such as remote healthcare, connected and autonomous vehicles, Spatial Augmented Reality and advanced video and cloud gaming, have arrived.

But, beyond being able to download a full-length HD movie to your phone in seconds (even from a crowded stadium), 5G is not just about the consumption of multimedia content for entertainment purposes. The transition from 4G to 5G stands to benefit both consumers and businesses across a wide range of industries. 

5G will be the catalyst for connecting humans and machines together on an unprecedented scale, but what does all this mean for your business, and what can you expect to gain from 5G? Below are some of the many benefits that we believe this new technology could bring to your business, including near real-time collaboration, enhanced connectivity and improved efficiency in the workplace, but firstly…

How does 5G work?
Like previous mobile generations, 5G uses radio frequencies (also known as spectrum) to carry information through the air. The radio spectrum supports all the wireless services used by people and businesses every day – including making a mobile phone call, listening to the radio, or going online using Wi-Fi. 

Radio waves have different frequencies and 5G uses the same low and mid-range frequencies as its predecessors, but also uses higher radio frequencies called 'millimeter waves' (mmwaves). These frequencies are less cluttered and this allows for it to carry more information at a much faster rate. The radio waves used in 5G are nothing new, but what is new is how cleverly 5G uses all three (low, mid and high) to enable better ways of communicating. 

Where is 5G being used?
Broadly speaking, 5G is used across three main types of connected services, including enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and the massive Internet of Things (IoT). These applications are defined by the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) as follows: 

1.    Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)
This service area is essentially an extension and improvement on that which is currently used for cellular data. It provides speeds of up to 10Gbps for high bandwidth usage such as HD video streaming, providing faster download speeds and improved user experiences.

2.    Ultra-reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC)
URLLC is ideal for mission-critical applications where network reliability and low-latency (less than 1 ms) is paramount. This could be used in applications such as self-driving cars and industrial automation. 

3.    Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC)
This is used to connect large numbers of devices and is expected to transform the IoT industry. It aims to meet the demands of smart cities and other IoT applications. 

eMBB is the main early use case for 5G, driven by increasing geographical coverage and differentiated offerings. More than one billion 5G subscriptions are currently active across some 230 live commercial networks globally and we will be focussing on the business benefits relating to the this application of 5G in the rest of this article. 

Business Benefits
5G brings many benefits, including the potential to give speeds of 1 gigabit per second – that’s an incredible milestone to reach. This will allow businesses of all types to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability, and security.  

1.    As more businesses look to a hybrid way of working, higher response speeds and improved latency mean that employees stay better connected anytime and anywhere. This creates an environment for employees to be more productive and has a positive effect on operational efficiency

2.    eMBB will improve communications between remote workers through clearer calls and seamless HD video conferencing – as well as introducing new possibilities, such as high-resolution video calling and fully immersive experiences in Augmented and Virtual Reality, to support, educate and inform employees in exciting new ways. Unified Communications platforms will be able to process an unbelievable amount of data at lightning speed thanks to increased speeds and optimized data processing.

3.    Over a third of UK home workers are switching from using their broadband to using mobile data. These remote workers will benefit from fast and secure connections for document collaboration, high-speed downloads and more – removing the frustration of slow download speeds and intermittent connectivity. With the advancements of 5G, there is less technology aggravation, leading to greater overall job satisfaction

4.    Businesses can harness the power of 5G to elevate the service being delivered to their customers. Response times are faster, apps are more seamless, and employees feel confident and in control knowing they have the best tools for the job. 5G’s superior media quality also introduces exciting new ways to engage with customers, making interactions more personal while promoting brand loyalty. 

5.    5G will support commuters accessing cloud-based apps while travelling and allow them to communicate back to the office, or indeed a ‘smart’ office where all devices are seamlessly and wirelessly connected. With 5G, mobile team members won’t have to rely on intermittent train Wi-Fi and will be able to access critical customer data and pick up calls during notoriously poor Wi-Fi spots. 

Compared to legacy systems, 5G is leaps and bounds ahead with faster speeds, lower latency, better reliability and the ability to support more devices. But, just like these previous mobile network evolutions, 5G isn’t going to happen overnight. While faster speeds and some services are available today, there’s a lot to be done before some of the more advanced 5G services become reality. 5G’s radically different network architecture will be built over time, supported by continued investment as it evolves and 5G-compatible equipment is required to connect to it. 

We are already seeing a significant level of change in many sectors due to advancements in connectivity and now is the time to start planning. Working closely with our 5G vendor partners, Entropie is taking steps to ensure our customers are informed and equipped supporting them on their digital transformation journey, from early stages of 5G deployment to managed service support.

Contact us today on 01908 324 270, or email us at info@entropie.co.uk to find out more about 5G and how it can benefit your business in a FREE consultation with one of our specialists.

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