The new decade brings with it a digital revolution that will span industries and sectors under the name of 5G.
5G, the fifth generation of connectivity, is more than just faster download speeds than its predecessors. Sure, peak data rates in the gigabytes-per-second range come to mind whenever 5G is mentioned, but there’s more to it than that; arguably, its other capabilities are just as exciting. With the drastic improvements in device capacity and connection flexibility, 5G technology could very well be the glue that holds the bits and pieces of Industry 4.0 together.
The tech saw a wider rollout globally over the last year and coverage is about to increase exponentially as the new decade picks up. It could take some time — some countries would have to wait longer than others — but finding the sweet spot between the early-adopters and the late majority is a key moment that could put your organization ahead of the competition.
There’s no concrete figure to describe 5G’s speed yet — early consumer experiences currently range from sub-100 MB/s all the way to 2 GB/s — but one thing’s for sure: it leaves 4G biting the dust.
With speeds like this, content on demand is delivered instantly, and HD streaming becomes the norm. Cloud gaming and augmented (AR) and virtual (VR) reality entertainment, no longer gated by high-speed and low-latency requirements, can take off for a larger audience and find even more business applications in employee training, interactive product demos, and seamless teleconferencing.
For healthcare, 5G means high-quality remote care and treatments becomes increasingly accessible to more patients, mitigating the inflating costs of both industries and delivering better services to those who need it, faster than ever.
Flexibility and sustainability
Another promising capability of 5G technology is in the network’s high capacity to handle data processing before information even reaches the device. This enables a myriad of possibilities for both users and developers as portability and capability start scaling together faster with little to zero compromise. Smaller and lighter designs on devices can help mitigate costs in production, making products and services increasingly accessible to more people. Wearables and other “smart” things are about to get smarter, easier to have.
As both volume and variety of devices and use cases go up, so does the demand for power. In line with 5G’s intelligence is an unprecedented level of responsiveness that allows a more sustainable kind of network architecture. When it comes to power efficiency, 5G can reduce power consumption by as much as 10 times while still keeping up with increasing demands.
With the ability to support a million devices per square kilometer — ten times more than 4G’s capacity — 5G can take the Internet of Things (IoT) to its full potential. It won’t be just smartphones connected anymore; 22 billion IoT devices are expected to be connected by 2025. Tapping into sensors, wearables, medical devices, cars, and even infrastructure lets businesses and governments improve or find new use cases and services, with breakthroughs not far behind.
An increasingly-connected world manifests digital transformation’s shift from a separate initiative to a key part of the business strategy itself. With 5G now added to the equation, how should leaders approach the inevitable disruptions?
Listen to what the leaders of organizations across industries have to say about the current business landscape and what to expect in digital transformation in the new decade at Rockbird Media’s 5th Digital Transformation Jakarta, happening at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta, Indonesia on April 14, 2020.