Written by Sunny Dhami
In today’s mobile world, there are few things more important than a fast and reliable connection. That’s why businesses of all sizes have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of 5G – the new generation for connectivity that promises to bring lower latency, better speeds, and new opportunities to the world.
In the UK, the first switch was flipped for 5G by EE at the end of May 2019, and it won’t be long until 5G is available all around the country.
The question is, what does the arrival of 5G connectivity really mean to the employees of today and tomorrow. Could this new technology make remote and mobile working easier than ever before?
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What is 5G Technology?
5G is the next generation of mobile phone network connectivity.
Compared to the previous option, 4G, 5G can deliver higher connection speeds (up to 10 times faster), and lower latency (response times) for your teams. Additionally, many mobile experts believe that 5G also provides greater reliability and bandwidth than we could ever access before.
For the consumer world, 5G means that downloading a 4k movie to your phone would take seconds, rather than minutes. In the business environment, a 5G connection could ensure that you can share hefty files with your colleagues, and collaborate over video in seconds, without worrying about lag. 5G will also increase the carrying capacity of today’s mobile masts so that more people can connect at the same time, without peak-time disruptions.
Transforming the Mobile Work Environment
As mobile working strategies grow increasingly popular, and the traditional office space continues to disappear, 5G could make a massive difference to business operations. For mobile workers, 5G will make it easier to access office-level Wi-Fi speeds on the go.
You’ll have the opportunity to download documents in an instant and work with teams on the go in real-time, not worrying about having to wait for a message or document to load. 5G will even make it easier to connect to your office in crowded areas like main cities and coffee shops because you won’t be fighting for bandwidth with other mobile users.
In the years to come, 5G could even ensure that businesses are more able to tap into things like AR and VR for better communication and collaboration.
What is the Status of 5G Deployment Today?
The EE mobile network launched their first 5G connection in the UK on May the 30th, and Vodafone followed shortly after on the 3rd of July. While the UK is one of the primary locations in Europe to start rolling out 5G, it’s currently only available to access in significant places like London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Belfast.
Throughout the rest of the year, we’re likely to see more mobile providers getting involved with 5G, delivering the technology to wider parts of the UK. However, users will need to be prepared to spend a little money if they want to unlock this new technology. On the EE network, for instance, 5G costs £5 more than 4G per month, although it costs the same to access 5G on a Vodafone plan.
Businesses will also need to supply their mobile and field workers with new smartphones that feature a 5G modem. There are currently a handful of these devices on the market, and they’re quite expensive, as they offer access to top-of-the-line technology. It’ll be a while before 5G becomes a more affordable tech for smaller brands.