5G is coming, so what are the use cases for 5G in enterprise-level business? While the next generation in mobile communication technology isn't yet widely available to the public from wireless carriers, recent research by Gartner suggests many large organizations already have – or plan to – implement 5G solutions for a wide range of uses.
Lots of Hype
For the average consumer, talk of 5G has many trying to calculate what it means for their next phone purchase. Carriers and phone makers are fanning excitement around 5G, but a wide rollout of devices isn't expected from manufacturers until 2020. With top-of-the-line smartphones costing as much as a laptop these days, many are holding on to older phones until new 5G models are available. On the business side, there's lots of buzz about what 5G will mean for edge computing, automation, and other digital transformation initiatives – specifically around Internet of Things (IoT) and video, but there are other use cases for 5G too. Interestingly, because communication service providers will first focus on the needs of individual consumers over more specialized business network requirements, Gartner reports many large organizations plan 5G private networks.
What is 5G?
So, what makes 5G different from 4G? It's all about speed, latency, and capacity. 5G uses millimeter-wave (mmWave) bands on the radio spectrum that are high capacity (bandwidth) and high speed (up to 1000 times faster than 4G). What you get are data speeds like hardwired fiber optic connections delivered wirelessly. 5G also means lower latency – which Verizon defines as the time required for a packet of information to travel round trip between two points. Low latency is critical for things like video collaboration in the workplace and realizing the full potential of coming new apps. 5G will also bring the ability to connect a lot more devices at once, which is a must-have given the explosion of IoT devices that all have to be connected to a network.