5G Is Coming – What That Means For Business Owners

November 1, 2019
Todd Fritz

Projections show that In 2020, 50% of Americans will have access to 5G services, and an estimated 5% of mobile users (early adopters) will upgrade to 5G next year.

Everyone’s heard the term “5G” but what does it mean for your business? Each G represents a “generation” of technology. Here’s your history lesson: 1G gave us mobile voice. 2G introduced texting as we now know it, 3G delivered the network speeds necessary for us to be able to retire our “flip phones” and upgrade to smartphones (Palm Pilots). 4G, with its blazing-fast data-transfer rates, empowered today’s connected devices (iPhone, android, tablets etc.) and services. Ok, now that I have you up to date with our current technology, you might be asking…

What makes a 5G network and what are we talking about as far as speeds?

5G is a collection of different technologies and tools used to advance wireless capabilities. The backbone of the 5G standard is comprised of low-, mid- and high-band spectrum. There are two frequencies that 5G networks can operate on: sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave (20-60 GHz).

Carriers were already using sub-6 spectrum for existing LTE networks, and now they need more of it to build out 5G. Millimeter-wave frequency was previously unused, and the advent of 5G has given carriers access to the spectrum that will enable the faster speeds we expect with the new standard.

5G Ultra-Wideband has the potential to deliver peak data rates of over 10 Gbps. Downloads that used to take minutes will take seconds, 5G makes it possible to download a movie in 3.6 seconds, 4K video will stream with virtually no buffering and you’ll be able to video-chat in HD with near zero lag.

What will the 5G network do tomorrow that can’t be done with today’s 4G?

Driverless cars, cloud-connected traffic control, high-precision industrial automation, augmented and virtual reality, and other applications that depend on high speeds and near real-time latency live up to their potential. It will also unleash the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) with ultra-available, low-latency links and the ability to support from 10 to 100 times more connected devices. New uses and transformational ways we use devices will swell the number of connected “things” from 8.4 billion today to 20.4 billion in 2020. 5G will satisfy the rising connection density demands of the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s expected to support 1 million devices per .38 sq. miles compared with 2,000 devices with 4G. Welcome to our rapidly growing and connected world!

What 5G is Not

Lots of confusion exists regarding the 5G network and its current availability.

For example, AT&T’s 5Ge or “5G evolution” is not true 5G, but merely a 4G LTE network enhanced by carrier aggregation. Likewise, 5Ghz Wi-Fi has nothing to do with 5G. It’s simply a short-range, home Wi-Fi network that’s operated on the five-gigahertz radio band since 1999.

How Can 5G Help Your Business

  • You will be able to easily watch training videos without buffering
  • Businesses in rural areas should have a better signal and far less dropped calls
  • Easily track your “fleet” no matter where they are, even in rural areas

Personal Experience

A few years ago, our house had 1 Smart TV and a Cisco Router, that’s about it. With the availability of high-speed internet, our house now has 3 smart TV’s, a few Roku sticks,  a video doorbell, water leakage sensors under our major appliances, Wi-Fi controlled indoor and exteriors lights and outlets, a Nest Thermostat, and a mesh network to keep it all running flawlessly. Can you imagine if this would all be available wirelessly? With true 5G, the future possibilities are almost unlimited and VERY exciting.

*Credit WilsonPro Electronics, Verizon Wireless for some of the statistics

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