Making ready for the 5G rollout: The right way to put together your organization
5G is considered to be one of the biggest market opportunities of this decade, with the significant rollout of infrastructure and widespread adoption of services and devices. Not only will it fuel the development and expansion of networks, but it will also accelerate a number of sectors including computers, manufacturing, automotive and entertainment. In fact, 5G is projected to add $ 700 billion to the global economy by 2030. Several factors are driving the growth of 5G technology, most notably the increasing demand for resilient networks for consumers and businesses alike.
The UK recently announced plans to expand its network infrastructure to support 5G, with the goal of reaching over a billion connections by 2025. The technology appears in many markets and its acceptance will increase significantly in the years to come. A recent report by EY states that many companies are still at the very beginning of their 5G journey, despite positive investment intentions. Only 3 percent of companies with current or future 5G investment plans currently operate 5G in their company, 67 percent participate in 5G tests or discuss 5G investments with their suppliers and 28 percent are planning 5G rollouts for their company.
While the technology promises a number of benefits, including faster and more stable connectivity, many companies are still pondering what this means for them, their customers, and other stakeholders. And above all: How can you best prepare your company to take full advantage of 5G in the future?
Business benefits of 5G
For businesses in today’s increasingly connected world, 5G brings speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G, as well as greater network capacity to support the company’s ambitious growth plans. Additionally, the amount of data businesses generate every day is increasing dramatically, but with 5G network speeds, moving large amounts of data will no longer be a major challenge for businesses. This is crucial in the adoption of hybrid working, as higher end-user speed enables and improves remote working so that employees can stay efficient and productive at home.
Emerging technologies such as automation, cloud computing and AI can also benefit from 5G support. This is because it provides a platform necessary to promote connectivity, enabling communication and consistent network speeds wherever and whenever employees are working. Ultimately, 5G can help companies to work quickly and effectively, which in turn creates significant cost advantages and increases a company’s profits in the longer term.
Effects of Covid-19
However, 5G was marginalized for many businesses during the global pandemic as the focus shifted to survival rather than technological innovation. One of the challenges for operators was that due to social distancing and government lockdowns, they had fewer opportunities to promote 5G’s biggest selling point, better capacity in urban areas. During this period there was also less need for mobile data, as the majority of people worked from home and were connected to WiFi. However, as we enter our new normal, interest is expected to rise again in line with the growing number of 5G devices in the market.
In addition, 5G has the potential to fuel economic growth in the UK. According to Vodafone, the technology could add up to £ 158 billion to the economy and create new jobs and business opportunities. In addition to improving network speed and connectivity in geographic regions, 5G benefits from a number of key sectors and drives growth and improvement in multiple industries.
In addition, its importance was reaffirmed during the pandemic as work behavior inevitably shifted to remote work. With faster speeds, lower latency, and load balancing, 5G is able to handle the difficulties employers face while working from home. Hence, this technology can help reinvent the way companies adopt new hybrid working models when employees return to the office. Looking ahead, organizations need to understand the barriers that need to be overcome in order to take advantage of the upcoming 5G opportunities.
Network considerations for business
5G will be an important part of the operating environment and technology landscape of companies going forward, but realizing the potential productivity and efficiency gains of the technology requires a strategic approach. The first step in preparing for the 5G rollout is to identify key areas for investment and identify the top growth drivers for the business. That way, you can find out where best to invest in the technology for the most benefit in the long run. Determining whether the company’s existing infrastructure can meet the demand for 5G is also critical, and considering a virtual network is often the best option to meet the agility and flexibility required by 5G.
In addition, the security threats posed by this technology must be considered, as expanding the capabilities of the network can open new entry points for cyberattacks. It is recommended that companies secure their network with authentication software to provide adequate security without affecting employee productivity. While corporate security measures are tightened, executives can also implement a training program to educate employees on 5G best practices and ensure they are on board to identify potential threats during the technology rollout and beyond.
Future of 5G
The next generation of wireless connectivity is here. 5G can support a large number of connections simultaneously while improving speed, latency, reliability and power consumption. This technology has not only changed the technology landscape, it has also given companies a completely new network experience. This offers companies exciting opportunities to change the way they work, communicate with employees and use new technologies to improve their infrastructure.
However, to fully understand the benefits available and enable new use cases, executives need to fully understand the strategic implications during the 5G rollout phase. The aim is to address the security risks in 5G networks as there are more vectors that cyber criminals can use to attack. Ultimately, 5G networks are here to stay as remote working opens up new opportunities for new networks adoption and digital transformation.
Alan Hayward, Sales and Marketing Manager, SEH Technology