The time is near. By now, you’ve heard about the fifth-generation (5G) telecom transformation, expected to significantly change the world in which we live in 2020, but what does it really mean for consumers and enterprises? News site Quartz said, “The happiest hype says 5G networks will change society as much as electricity did thanks to their speed, making transformative technologies like self-driving cars easier to achieve.” It is interesting to note how 5G’s predecessors (1G-4G) evolved over that past few decades, and then it might be time to get excited about where 5G will take people and companies in the coming year.
While the advancement in mobile communications has been robust for nearly three decades, a look back through the Telecomm generations is telling. First-generation communications debuted in 1979 and offered oversized phones and expensive and often ineffective analog voice calling. The second generation launched in the early 90s and offered a better digital voice at lower costs while 3G was famous in 2001 for all things mobile: internet, computing, and many many apps. By the time 4G (or LTE) rolled out in 2009, users enjoyed mobile broadband in the way of streaming audio and video, instant cab services, and expansive social media opportunities. So, where can we possibly go from here?
How 5G Is Expected To Impact Us
Think connectivity as you’ve never seen it before. With 5G wireless, you’ll see new secure, seamless, and instant connectivity impacting nearly every industry, every consumer. Those expected to benefit the soonest include not only consumers but also the automobile, medical, manufacturing, and technology sectors, to name a few. Some of the 5Gs capabilities will surface between cars and drivers, doctors and patients, and consumers and the Internet of Things (IoT). Improvements will be certain for AR (augmented reality–interactive, reality-based computer-generated display, special effects, text, and sound) to enhance user experiences.
Some 5G Pros and Cons to Consider
While it is an exciting time for technology and for global participation in the most advanced connectivity of our time, like every new technological advancement, the 5G transition comes with a number of pros and cons to consider. While it may seem like there are more concerns right now, the best results are likely yet to come.
Pros of 5G
- Expect seamless instantaneous connectivity results (up to 30-50 times faster)
- Look for improved security
- Prepare your enterprises for next-generation technology
- Compatible with advancing technologies that use more AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and MR (mixed reality)
- Receive more bandwidth
- Build more towers (although not everyone wants to see more towers)
Cons of 5G
- Rival carriers are anxious, offering various release schedules, which could lead to deployment deficiencies. See tentative information and locations offering 5G wireless at Lifewire.com
- The equipment requirements are vast and expensive
- The 5G transition will impact carriers, consumers, and businesses alike; there are some concerns about overcrowding the radio frequency.
- There is no certain proof, but some specialists believe the 5G network will generate radiofrequency radiation (similar to 4G) that could result in health disadvantages:
- damage DNA and/or lead to human cancers
- impact oxidation such that it could lead to premature aging
- disrupt human cell metabolism
- lead to other human diseases
- Your current smartphone will not be compatible with 5G technology—that’s a lot of phone replacements.
How Can Companies Prepare
Since it has been a great long season since the 4G transition (upwards of 10 years) for most companies, they may already be in the best possible position for 5G even though it will come with its own nuances, costs, and configuration challenges. For those enterprises that have refused to spend the money to keep their IT infrastructures and Telecomm solutions up to date, this technology may result in an even more costly transition. While a 5G switch will require some work, a good starting place for small and medium-sized businesses is to evaluate the current environment and upgrade software, hardware, and cloud solutions as soon as possible. At Rackco, technologists have the experience to assess current company connectivity and help businesses prepare for next-generation Telecomm. Get started today for a successful tomorrow as you prepare for some of the most exciting times in the history of technology.