Is Your Business Ready for a 5G World?

June 13, 2019 Erica Ong

 

Not too long ago, 4G overtook 3G as the preeminent cellular technology. And 4G was a 10x improvement of data speeds on the supercomputers in our pockets! Today, we’ve just left the starting gate of 5G. Simultaneously, wireless providers are racing to launch 20x data speeds over 4G which will allow all devices to be connected in near real time and enable new technological advancements. The wireless company with the most expansive 5G network is poised to become the market leader and others may be left behind. It’s incredible to think that the speed of 3G was only around 200 kilobits per second. Next, 4G took us to a maximum of 1 gigabit per second. According to the technology blog Lifewire, 5G could lead to speeds up to 20 gigabits per second! While everyone would love to see 5G end buffering and loading times, the impact on businesses goes far beyond faster download speeds. Read on to learn more about the ways 5G could impact your bottom line.

More speed and more devices

If you’re like most Americans, you have a cell phone plan that limits your data use per month or puts a speed cap in place if you go over what the phone company considers acceptable use. With 5G, those limits will likely vanish. With so much more capacity available, there will be no reason to limit web speeds or data.

In fact, we should see the opposite. According to Gartner, the number of connected devices should more than double to over 20 billion by 2020. That includes everything from home security cameras to autonomous vehicles.

This also empowers businesses to connect to clients and consumers in new ways. When communication with cloud-based platforms takes place in fractions of a second, small businesses and enormous enterprises alike will find new opportunities to enhance customer relationships. This won't be optional. Both B2B and consumer customers will demand cutting-edge experiences from all product and service providers.

Big bandwidth brings new opportunities

According to Liberty Global, building out new 5G networks will cost $275 billion. That cost, however, is well worth it in the long run. Eighty-three percent of the world's consumers will expect to work with businesses digitally within the next two years.

5G gives us a lot more than just faster smartphone connections. Customer experiences may be completely reimagined. Areas with technological limitations today, such as remote surgeries and fully immersive augmented reality, will be enabled. And people will likely stop worrying about connecting to WiFi when out and about, as most public WiFi networks will be slower and less secure than a 5G wireless connection.

Security should stay at the forefront

We’ve all seen the long list of major data breaches over the last decade. A quick online search will tell you scary tales of hackers breaking into connected baby monitors, thermostats, and doorbells. Digital thieves regularly breach large online databases, stealing billions of records filled with personal information.

While new inventions and innovation drive excitement and convenience, both the businesses that create them and the consumers that use them need to be keenly aware of security risks. Famed con-man turned FBI agent Frank Abagnale recently told publication Ars Technica that "all breaches happen because people make them happen, not because hackers do it. Every breach occurs because someone in that company did something they weren't supposed to do, or somebody in that company failed to do something they were supposed to do."

Before your business releases or implements any new technology in a production environment, it should go through rigorous security testing. That testing should continue well into the product's active lifecycle to ensure your business assets and your customer data remains safe.

5G is here. Is your business ready?

Strategic partnerships have accelerated the rollout of 5G. There are live 5G implementations in American cities and across the world as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile jockey to be the first to bringing not only faster speeds, but also new opportunities to your digital devices.

While every business needs to keep the customer experience in focus, procurement, compliance, and legal partnerships are critical to helping your company transition to the next wave of cellular technology.

With the right strategy in place, companies that maximize 5G and the technological advances they enable are poised to grow their business to new heights; don’t get left behind in a 4G world.

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About the Author

Erica Ong is General Manager, Communications & Media and Professional Services

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Conduent Regulatory Bulletin 2019 - Issue 1
Conduent Regulatory Bulletin 2019 - Issue 1