There’s a lot of buzz about 5G in India. We are seeing rollouts by the top two telecom providers – Jio and Airtel across multiple cities. 5G will bring about unprecedented speed of access to data and it will empower businesses, especially the smaller ones, with a digital edge.
What is 5G?
5G stands for fifth generation. Let’s look at the evolution from 1G to 5G. 1G started off with ensuring that a mobile phone would exist. It was a transition from a wired landline phone to a mobile phone. 2G enhanced it to enable sending messages by texting. ‘3G’ marked the stupendous rise of smartphones. With 4G and LTE, seamless streaming was facilitated.
5G is going to be a game-changer as it is slated to be up to 50 times faster than 4G. Can you imagine the opportunities that such speeds could unleash for businesses as they leverage the internet in a better manner?
Benefits of 5G
Other than the obvious benefits of speed, 5G brings along a few more advantages: –
Reduced Latency: With 5G, the latency will be around 10 milliseconds, which is a significant improvement as compared to 40-50 ms latency on 4G networks. This will ensure a seamless user experience and lags or delays while streaming, buffering data, browsing etc. will be a thing of the past.
New-age Digital Experiences – With IoT, VR/AR, high-definition video streaming, etc. becoming more common, 5G would ensure that applications that leverage such technologies can run seamlessly and enable users to have an immersive user experience. This will enable them to enjoy the products/ services that their favourite brands offer while helping the brands to engage and retain their best customers.
Better Connectivity – With ‘5G’, the network will be stronger and even with an increase in demand on the network, ‘5G’ will enable telecom service providers to render uninterrupted services.
Efficiency enhancement – With techniques such as ‘network slicing’, 5G network providers can create multiple virtual networks from one physical network to enable dedicated bandwidth creation for running various processes within an organization smoothly. It can enhance processing speed, capabilities, and time and thereby enable enterprises to improve their productivity.
5G technology is well-poised to disrupt a few industries and enable them to build scale and accelerate growth. Let’s look at a few:
- Insurance: With 5G, it will be easy to implement ‘telematics’ to factor-in accurate data on driving patterns, acceleration, roads taken etc. to arrive at a better and more customized premium per vehicle than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Also, with HD quality videos from the accident site, an insurance company would be better equipped to assess the damage remotely and hence, settle claims much faster. Also, with wearables becoming a lifestyle gadget, 5G would enable health insurers to capture vital data and trends about an insured customer and accordingly, offer them the most suited insurance plans.
- Manufacturing: Technologies such as Digital Twin – which can mirror an entire process and enable to test thoroughly, and address issues – are of great use in Manufacturing. 5G can make such technologies work better and enable manufacturing sector to save time, money, and efforts. With technologies such as IoT also being increasingly used, manufacturing is set to benefit from the speed, bandwidth, and latency benefits that ‘5G’ would bring along.
- Transportation and Logistics: With connected cars and vehicles, it will be easy to monitor and manage the flow of goods and services from one city to another. Also, with ‘over-the-air’ updates, vehicles connected to the internet will be empowered to receive the latest software updates on the go. 5G can also make traffic management much better and ensure quick response to incidents so that goods can travel faster and more efficiently and the cost per ton transported can come down significantly.
- Healthcare: 5G can bring doctors and patients much closer than ever before. The consultation model can transition from an appointment-based consultation to continuous monitoring of real-time data of patients and advise/ amendments can be recommended by the doctor as and when he deems fit. 5G will also play a key role in realizing the benefits of new-age technologies such as 3D printing, surgeries performed by Robots etc.
While these are just a few examples, almost every industry/sector will be ripe for transformation once 5G becomes mainstream. We will see sectors and companies leveraging HD video streaming, IoT, robotics, AI, ML, block-chain, new-age digital technology etc. to completely re-imagine the way they attract, engage, and retain customers and enhance operational efficiency to grow their business.