5G and 6G: What to Expect in 2020

With the exception of some selected cities who began offering 5G a few months ago, for the rest of us, 5G is almost here.  For the past year, the tech world has been abuzz with the word. 5G is expected to herald the next major revolution in telecommunications, unleashing new capabilities for the digital world.

Major providers such as Verizon and AT&T all have plans to roll out commercial 5G networks within the next 12 months in the United States, making the next generation of wireless connectivity available to the general public. For businesses, that means customers will be able to access a company’s digital presence faster and in more ways.

5G will affect the way businesses operate in the digital environment – eventually. Read on to understand exactly what this means, and why every business needs to prepare for this eventuality.

Life After 4G: Why 5G Matters

For the past decade, 4G has shaped today’s world into the connected, digital environment characterized by the mobile internet. It was a substantial step up from 3G, which introduced to the world the concept of mobile data. However, technology – especially wireless technology – has hit a plateau in the past few years as our devices are essentially limited by what 4G can offer. Devices simply can’t get faster and more connected because 4G can’t handle it.

5G promises to change that. Critically, 5G intends to take advantage of the frequencies on the wireless spectrum – the invisible lanes of traffic upon which the wireless internet flows – which currently aren’t being used because 4G cannot reach them. 5G devices will be able to reach these wider, less-congested lanes and therefore transmit data much faster than any 4G device could ever hope to achieve.

That’s why 5G is expected to create a revolution of sorts. It also has tremendous implications for the way wireless connectivity operates in our world, especially for businesses.

Current Forecasts and Predictions for 5G

The tech world is optimistic about the arrival of 5G, with many industry experts claiming that it will transform all of our technology utterly. 4G will remain dominant for some years to come. However, once providers establish the infrastructure necessary for a significant 5G presence, current forecasts predict:

  • Greater diversity of wireless devices: Among the most anticipated elements which 5G will introduce to the world is – at last – the reality of the Internet of Things. While it already exists in a way, the IoT will take advantage of 5G by making the oft dreamed about web of smart devices not just possible, but practical.
  • Decreased latency: Latency is the amount of time it takes to send and receive information across the wireless network. The more traffic on the network, the slower devices become – that’s why phones sometimes slow down in highly populated areas. 5G will solve this by opening additional lanes which are wider and reserved only for 5G devices.
  • More physical infrastructure: 4G needed towers strategically placed across the landscape to help move traffic. 5G will need 10 times the amount of infrastructure to handle the load of smart devices it will bring. It’s a tremendous investment opportunity, but it’s also cited as the reason 5G will remain expensive for years to come.

Implications For Businesses

Businesses can expect 5G to change the way they do business over the long run. Particularly, 5G will increase the rate at which businesses must digitize in order to survive. Businesses can expect 5G to transform existing network architecture to introduce:

  • An increased ability to collect, analyze, and act upon data.
  • More digital solutions to meet the growing demand for rapid transmission of large amounts of information.
  • The ability to more rapidly deliver services to customers.
  • Innovation around virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence.
  • Smart devices which improve visibility, efficiency, and control in business processes.
  • In short, 5G will unlock more applications for wireless technology in the business environment which are currently considered impossible. Forward-thinking businesses should anticipate and prepare.

What is 6G and What Will It Do?

Excitement about 6G arose about the time 5G was announced, as a reality in the future. 6G is yet another generation of wireless connectivity – estimated to bring still faster speeds which support new computing capabilities entirely. For now, however, 6G remains more than a decade in the future, with its capabilities largely undefined.

Transform Your Business Environment With Digital Capabilities

With 5G on the world’s doorstep, it’s time for businesses to start considering their digital future. While 4G will remain the primary iteration of wireless connectivity, the advantages of 5G for early adopters are significant. Like 4G and 3G, the next generation of wireless networking will change the way the world thinks about its digital environment.

Don’t wait until 5G gets here to start thinking about its effects. Digital transformation will help companies make the most out of 5G when it arrives in 2020. Anticipate it and be prepared.

Smile Business Products helps companies develop business technology strategies for the future. Start a conversation with us today to discuss how we can help you thrive in 2020.