5G technology refers to the new generation of connectivity standards for mobile devices. The advantages of 5G are many and varied, the most remarkable being of course its connection speed, which exceeds that of fibre optics. This will undoubtedly impact organisations using the Internet to operate, from essential processes such as communication between people or managing environments in the cloud, to more specific processes such as collecting and analysing Big Data or using business intelligence tools.
Currently, 4G connections (the most common on mobile networks) are insufficient due to the growing use of new technologies, cloud storage and the processing of increasingly large files, as well as the growing use of video on the Internet. During the outbreak of the VIDOC pandemic,19 there was an immediate overload of mobile Internet connections, often resulting in increased waiting time to access even the simplest services such as sending messages or loading a web page.
5G provides a simple solution to all these problems, as each device connected to the mobile network will benefit from speeds of up to 20 Gb per second, 10 to 20 times faster than current 4G connections.
5G, a revolution
The arrival of 5G is accompanied by significant improvements in communication, both personal and professional.
Due to the coronavirus health crisis and government alert states, many companies are making their staff work remotely and rely on more services in the cloud, requiring much higher connection speeds than before. The implementation of 5G helps meet this increased demand and changes the way we communicate, allowing more devices to be connected to the Internet and send and receive data in real time.
No 5G device will be affected by network saturation, as is currently the case with 3G or 4G. In the case of 5G, each device will be connected exclusively, as with a simple cable, without sharing a connection with anyone, which will also increase the security of data transmission.
In addition, 5G reduces latency, i.e. the time it takes the network to respond to a request. In the case of 5G, this time is reduced to an average of 3 milliseconds, a delay that is virtually undetectable to the user.
What is 5G?
The implementation of 5G will mean changes for both companies and end-users.
At the individual level, we will have a faster and more stable connection, allowing us to download files and streaming movies in milliseconds, as if they were stored in the memory of our device.
In addition, there will be no need to increase the capacity of internal memory cards or computers, as it will be possible to store and instantly access files stored in the cloud, even if they are very large files.
5G will also facilitate the advancement of the Internet of Things (abbreviated IoT), where more everyday objects, such as refrigerators, thermostats or even cars, can be connected to the Internet and controlled remotely without interruption and in real time.
It was predicted that by 2020, more than 24 billion devices would be connected to the Internet worldwide. This figure will certainly be surpassed given the health and economic context of the health crisis. 5G will therefore play a key role in facilitating access and ensuring data traffic for all these connected devices.
In the professional environment, the advantages of 5G go beyond the simple possibility of connecting objects to the Internet more quickly. It will, for example, enable remote surgical operations, remote operation of industrial equipment or remote driving of remote-controlled vehicles.
5G technology in B2B will also improve business relationships and business processes, such as logistics systems that track shipments in real time or intelligent warehouse management software that manages orders autonomously.
5G will also stimulate the growth of IT companies, which will be faced with an increasingly demanding market in terms of services and products based on the cloud or Internet connections.
What are the benefits of 5G for SMEs?
5G will enable small and medium-sized enterprises to implement services and technologies that were previously only available to large groups with high purchasing power.
5G sets a new goal for business development by facilitating better automation of processes and greater optimisation of resources. The possibility of connecting more components and equipment to the Internet will encourage remote working, saving companies the cost of maintenance and staff travel.
In addition, 5G will make it easier for SMEs to use cloud-based services. Companies will no longer have to buy and maintain their servers on site. It will no longer be necessary to maintain a physical cable network for an organisation's computers and equipment to access a high-speed Internet connection.
The arrival of 5G in the business world will unleash the full power of artificial intelligence software, whether for external or internal business purposes. For example, at the marketing level, it will be possible to analyse customer behaviour in an optimal way thanks to faster and more secure connections. We can also mention machine learning tools that compile data and extract information that can be used to improve company processes or to automatically solve unexpected problems.
To access the 5G network, a compatible smartphone must be used. During the year 2020, the catalogue of 5G-compatible handsets has continued to grow. Nearly all brands now offer such devices, often in the medium and high ranges.
Since 5G operates on different frequencies from 4G, the entire existing mobile network will need to be adapted to support this type of connectivity. There are still several steps to be taken, but all indications are that by 2021, the deployment and use of 5G will have become a reality in many countries.