What will 5G mean for businesses?

5G is on the horizon, and with gigabit download speeds being touted across the industry, it’s clear that mobile users have a lot to be excited about. It’s not just consumers who stand to benefit from the next generation of wireless connectivity, however.

Business owners will also feel the effects of 5G, and they too have plenty to look forward to. 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in particular promises to change how connectivity-dependent organisations work, allowing greater capabilities and – most importantly - more productivity.

New speeds, new possibilities

5G is a big jump from its predecessors, and while there are various differences between 3G/4G to 5G technology, businesses stand to benefit from the next generation of wireless connectivity, and we’re proud to be an integral part in this evolution.

The most important difference that businesses will experience is undoubtedly speed. At present, Ofcom are reporting the average broadband speed in the UK is 36Mbps, and many internet users - particularly those with ADSL connections – struggle to achieve even half of this.

There are no publicly available average speeds for business connectivity, but larger organisations will have private networks based upon high bandwidth solutions such as leased lines and pure fibre. However, with over 99 per cent of UK businesses employing fewer than 249 people and 96 per cent employing fewer than nine, the most common broadband service used is a business variant of “home style” connectivity and hence likely to offer similar performance to the 36 Mbps quoted by Ofcom.

5G FWA looks set to exceed current speeds comfortably, with trials pointing to bandwidths of 1Gbps and above. We also expect latency to drop to around 1ms, compared with 4G’s average of 45ms, creating a host of exciting new opportunities. These improvements are drastic enough for 5G FWA to not only surpass existing standards but also to beat the likely evolutions of its fixed-line counterparts.

Data when you need it

Today’s organisations are fuelled by data, and the speed at which it moves from one point to the next is hugely important. Files, however, are getting bigger. The quality and quantity of the content we consume is growing quickly, and the data we keep contains more detail than ever before.

5G FWA will allow companies to shift huge amounts of data in minimal time. Over a full-strength 1Gbps connection, for example, it’s possible to download a 5GB file in less than a minute; the same file travelling over a 36Mbps connection – the UK residential average – would take closer to 20 minutes to arrive. It’s easy to see how big an impact this saved time could have on productivity.

Easing the pressure

Such large bandwidth will allow multiple users to work comfortably and efficiently on the same 5G networks, removing the need for complex setups and additional equipment. Employees can confidently move large files around while downloading from and using powerful cloud applications without impacting the productivity of those around them.

Low-latency applications such as trading will also benefit massively from 5G FWA; users will be ready to respond to external events faster than ever before, allowing for better business decisions to be made.

An exciting future

We anticipate huge leaps forward for wireless connectivity and the businesses that depend on it over the next decade.

5G will have a massive impact on the national economy by giving organisations of all sizes and purposes incredible new capabilities. From city-based SMEs gradually increasing their reliance on the cloud to larger organisations requiring resilient services to ensure they are always connected – so many businesses stand to benefit from the next generation of wireless connectivity, and we’re proud to be an integral part in this evolution.

Further reading:

Arqiva and Samsung kick off UK’s first 5G Fixed Wireless Access trial

Experience Arqiva and Samsung’s 5G FWA 360° demo