Prioritizing 5G

Prioritizing 5G to Get the Most Out of Your Enterprise

The implications of 5G

As we move into 2020 digital trends are being set, and advancements in technology are emerging. It’s no secret that the next generation of wireless technology, known as 5G, is in the works of being implemented and will impact everyone.

What is 5G and what will it change?

5G is the generation following 4G and LTE and will bring lighting fast speed, lower latency, and the ability to carry a massive number of connections to devices at an unpredictable scale. That may not seem very special, but 5G will be so powerful it will completely transform mobile communication, the Internet of Things, and most industries.

To put that into perspective, currently, 4G is expensive and needs complicated service plans to function. The average response time between clicking on something and the playback on a device is about 20 milliseconds. That might sound short, but those 20 milliseconds can slow down or even stop many applications. 5G’s response time will go down to just one millisecond, which is essentially the equivalent to working in real time! On top of that, 5G will take a minimal amount of energy to function, which is crucial for the Internet of Things.

5G is still going through its testing phase, AT&T has launched it in a dozen cities around the U.S. where they have set up hotspots. Like any other new technology, 5G is going to take a long time before it’s fully integrated into society. Before anyone can utilize all the benefits of 5G, there first needs to be devices that support it and national coverage of the network. Carries are already releasing news of 5G capable smartphones, and it is predicted that there will be full coverage by 2020, but that date is just a prediction.

How will it affect the user experience?

One significant benefit of increased internet speed is that it will improve clarity. Almost everyone can attest to the frustration that comes with trying to watch a video or listen to music on a slow network – eventually, people give up and accept watching the pixilated and delayed video. That will not be the case with 5G; it will completely expand the capabilities of user interface and streaming. Utilizing video is one of the biggest marketing trends of 2019 because it holds on to user’s attention and creates an interactive experience. 5G will take that experience to the next level, especially with how popular live videos are and how common it is to use a smartphone with their increase in quality.

Today, leaders in the industry are focusing on providing customized user experiences. 5G will allow marketers to achieve real-time, highly personalized, and predictive engagement with customers. This can transform consumers’ relationships with brands across virtually every industry and makes sending slightly personalized ads via email feel outdated.

As for right now, we can only guess what opportunities 5G will bring, but it is clear that companies who understand their customers today will be most likely to succeed with the ever-changing future. That’s why it’s so important to not wait around until 2020 to start personalizing your users’ experience and utilize the tools that are already out there to do so.

Should web applications be concerned?

There are many things to consider when any new technology as impactful as 5G is being released. For starters, web applications will need to incorporate a 5G based business model. Even when that is established, there will be the wait time of everyone switching over to 5G. Until then, for companies wishing to deliver an optimal user experience for all of their users, there may be a need for two versions of web applications, one for customers with 5G devices that supports the capabilities of the new technology, and one for those without.

Another growing concern is whether security issues will increase or not. As internet speeds increase and more networks and devices are connected, the chances of breaches in security are likely to raise. 5G will also require more advanced identity management systems; if privacy is not kept a top priority, users will be very hesitant to make the switch to 5G.

Lastly, there is a growing concern on whether 5G speeds will live up to both software developers and end-users’ expectations of it. There are a lot of different factors that can affect how 5G runs and operates. With it still only being tested in 12 cities with hotspots and in controlled areas, it is hard to account for all the factors that affect how well it works.

Taking Action

With every new technology that has the power to change the future comes risks and fear of failure. Even though there are things to be concerned about in the early years of 5G, there seem to be far more advantages, especially as it becomes worldwide. 5G has also been referenced as ‘continuous G’ because it’s not just something that will replace 4G and LTE. 5G will work hand in hand with 4G so that everyone can switch over in time, as people make the switch to 5G. It will even improve 4G since those networks will become less congested. It’s also the first software-defined wireless standard, meaning as protocols or networks change 5G will be able to be programmed and change with software updates so that all improvements will just be continuously integrated.

As inspiring as it all sounds, it’s essential to keep in mind that there most likely won’t be a broad launch of the technology until 2020, and it may take a few more years after that to gain traction. This is an excellent time to start looking at your web application portfolio and strategic business goals to look for opportunities to leverage 5G. There are big plans for the world of 5G in the future that no one will want to miss.

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Katie Wolford
Growth Marketing Intern
Katie Wolford is the growth marketing intern at QAT Global for Winter 2018-Spring 2019. Responsible for developing content for clients on solutions and technology issues, providing sales support, and assisting with the company’s overall marketing activities.
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