With Verizon recent acquisition of Straight Path for $3.1 billion who is one of the largest 5G spectrum holder, it seems that the race to build out 5G networks has begun. The wireless standards update cycle is about a 10 year technology cycle:
- 1G – 1982
- 2G – 1992
- 3G – 2001
- 4G – 2012
So what is 5G?
According to Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance, 5G addresses the following use cases:
- Broadband Access in Dense Areas – Pervasive Video
- Broadband Access Everywhere – 50+ Mbps
- Higher User Mobility – High Speed Train
- Massive Internet of Things – Sensor Networks
- Extreme Real-Time Communications – Tactile Internet
- Lifeline Communications – Natural Disaster
- Ultra-Reliable Communications – e-Health Services
- Broadcast-Like Services – Broadcast Services
According to Qualcomm – who is a leading telecom manufacturer – their 5G vision is 10x experience thru put, 10x decrease in latency, 10x connection density, 3x spectrum efficiency, 100x traffic capacity 100x network efficiency.
So what does this mean to me?
The Internet of Things (IoT) movement gets more and more devices internet enabled is putting pressure on network infrastructures. Have you ever been to a sporting event and you cannot get a single email even though you have 5 bars? That’s because of network congestion and 5G addresses that. Even TV’s and simple HVAC thermostats are web enabled. Homes and offices will be web enabled and smarter. Access to data and video will be almost everywhere. Most likely all delivered over the air thru a national wireless provider so we are not reliant on the customer’s own limited and congested network. If your products or services are offered online or thru the cloud, that means more and more connectivity. Customer expectations for faster delivery and a more rich user experience is ever growing and 5G enables this.
According to Forbes:
Global business leaders say that mobile and wireless are critical to the way they do business, but they worry that their needs are outpacing existing access networks. In order to evolve and succeed in the future, these executives say their companies will require revolutionary increases in the speed, capacity and connectivity of mobile devices—and they’re looking to 5G networks to provide it.
…5G networks will deliver ultra-low latency, super-high throughput and massive numbers of connections. They will usher in entirely new ways to do business, create new industries and drive unprecedented economic and societal growth.
The good news is that you have time. Current projections is that 5G will be rolled out around 2020. You have time to be proactive and create a strategic plan on how to leverage these opportunities. If you already have a long-term strategy and vision, now might be the time to re-evaluate those key performance indexes (KPI) to ensure you achieve those goals and maximize your return on your upcoming investment. Now is the time to be pro-active to gain competitive advantage vs. being re-active once you have lost market share.