The fifth generation of mobile networking is finally here, and it’s on course to change the world of small-business communications. The most notable improvement is its speed boost over 4G, with data rates 10 to 100 times faster, potentially reaching 10 Gbps. It also sports a far lower latency, greater bandwidth, and near 100% coverage and availability when the rollout is completed in the United States.
So how will 5G affect small businesses? Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits:
#1. Remote working
Mobility is the future of work, and while the number of remote workers has been rising steadily for some years, performance has long been constrained by poor internet availability. In many rural regions and even some urban areas, the lack of fast and reliable fiber optic connections remains a problem. 4G is far from universal either, and limited bandwidth and data plans make it an impractical choice for many everyday business workloads, particularly those which rely heavily on the cloud.
By greatly increasing bandwidth and coverage, 5G will let remote workers access lightning-fast internet no matter where they are.
#2. Custom networks
A common problem is mobile networks’ lack of flexibility when it comes to business applications. Networks can’t be customized to the unique needs of a business. One of the defining features of 5G is network slicing, which allows administrators to split networking resources into multiple logical or virtual resources (i.e., slices). This makes it possible to allocate bandwidth to specific resources based on priority, much like many businesses already do with their fixed-line broadband.
It will take a while before 5G network slicing becomes commercially available. But when it does, companies will be able to create their own 5G networks using the pool of resources available from the major telecommunications providers.
#3. Smart technology
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been gaining momentum for some years, with the number of internet-connected smart devices increasing exponentially. But it’s no longer just consumer technology that’s making the headlines — businesses across every sector are now tapping into the potential of internet-connected sensors, beacons, and control systems. However, this also means consuming a lot more internet bandwidth.
5G’s ability to greatly reduce latency and handle massive volumes of data will no doubt speed up the adoption of IoT for a wide variety of applications, from industrial control systems to edge computing.
#4. Improved recruiting
Greater connectivity is the fuel that drives recruitment and helps businesses retain the best talent in an increasingly competitive world. The more mobile the workforce, the greater the potential talent pool a business can tap into. To that end, 5G will also improve the recruitment process by moving past the limitations of older mobile technologies and allow for better video conferencing and faster, more stable connectivity. Businesses will be better equipped to identify and recruit the best talent without being restricted to their local areas or constrained by poor internet performance.
#5. Enhanced productivity
Internet connectivity is one of the most important assets in any modern business. Productivity, innovation, and morale depend heavily on the performance and availability of your internet. If employees are forced to work with slow and unreliable connections, especially when relying on cloud-based software and resources, then morale and productivity will take a massive hit. People expect high performance, and the last thing they want is to waste time staring at loading pages.
By offering greatly improved performance, coverage, bandwidth, and reliability, 5G empowers innovation and lifts many of the barriers in the way of employee efficiency and morale.
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