As 5G gets rolled out across more of the UK, the perception is that it’s going to significantly speed up the way we use our mobile devices. And that perception is correct.
While much of this focus on speed has dwelled on consumer impact –such as how quickly we’re able to download large image-heavy files or stream HD movies to our mobiles – there’s a lot more to 5G than that.
The truth is its potential can be harnessed in businesses of all different sizes and across many different sectors. So, aside from basic headlines about it being much faster than previous generations, what benefits could 5G bring to businesses? And what industries could benefit the most?
A good place to start is its likely effect on something that’s now a regular occurrence across many industries – remote working. Imagine having access to a high-quality WiFi network, wherever you happen to be. Whether you’re walking through town or on the train, 5G will give you just that. Its extremely low latency will result in a noticeable difference when it comes to the quality of video calls, which are now an everyday part of working life for many of us.
The benefits of 5G will also improve the customer experience in areas such as financial services, where easy digital banking could be more widely available, more personalised and more secure thanks to the power of this technology.
The potential of augmented reality and virtual reality is also likely to be realised with the arrival and roll out of 5G – and that could have a significant impact in industries where AR and VR tools and applications are capable of making a difference. For example, sectors such as retail and hospitality could see customer experiences transformed to become more personal and more connected. And 5G-enabled AR is also likely to make a difference for manufacturing, where it may enhance automation in a way that’s not previously been possible.
Another key benefit from 5G is its reliability, which makes it a reassuring fit for technological advancements in areas where health and safety are primary concerns.
In healthcare, the possibilities are numerous. For example, real-time, remote monitoring of patient health should be possible through wearable devices and the network speed and reliability that can really make the most of them.
And self-driving cars on our roads are likely to become closer to reality the more 5G is rolled out and developed.
It’s also important to note that the benefits of increased connectivity, reliability and speed have a trickle-down effect. So, just as 5G is replacing 4G as the network standard to aspire to, 4G is bringing new possibilities to more rural areas. In both cases, people can do more, with more connectivity.
But while there are likely to be many advantages to 5G, not everything will happen overnight. We’re already underway in terms of its rollout, yet its full benefits will only become apparent over time.
What can be said for definite however, is its potential is vast. And businesses of all sizes, across many industries, will be tapping into that potential in years to come.
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