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How 5G can impact and benefit small businesses in the US

SOURCE: Brooks KRAFT / Apple Inc. / AFP
5G will be beneficial for any and all businesses with an online presence.


By U2B Staff 

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The deployment of new generations of wireless technology does not just mean faster data speeds — if utilised well, it could mean faster business growth. As leading network providers deploy their 5G offerings, the benefits for individuals and businesses are plenty and impactful. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses all over the world have been forced to rethink their operations by either boosting their online presence, or starting it from zero. According to the US Census Bureau, consumers spent US$211.5 billion on e-commerce during the second quarter of 2020. At present, a whopping 36% of consumers shop online weekly. This is an increase from 28% before the pandemic, according to a global survey by Selligent Marketing Cloud.

Now, for all of you who don’t know, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile wireless communications technology, an upgrade to the 4G network (the G stands for generation). 5G technology uses shorter, higher-frequency bands of the radio spectrum, promising lower latency, faster speeds and greater load capacity. Chipmaker Qualcomm believes that in real-world conditions, 5G could deliver browsing and download speeds ten to 20 times faster than its predecessor.

“Whatever we do now with our smartphones we’ll be able to do faster and better,” says Ian Fogg from OpenSignal, a mobile data analytics company.

Data and mobility is becoming increasingly crucial to business operations and IT teams across the globe are getting ready to embrace this next-generation network. A survey by Gartner confirms this with findings revealing that two-thirds of organisations intend to deploy 5G services by 2020.

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With a shift in operations comes a change in expenses and the need for reliable internet access, which is why 5G will be beneficial for small businesses in the US. Many are catching on to this and by 2025, Statista predicts that the number of 5G subscriptions will reach 2.61 billion. If your business that has yet to take the steps to utilise this fifth generation wireless technology, now is the time to do so. Here are some ways 5G can help your small business:

Faster connection speeds

In contrast to 4G’s maximum speed of 100 megabits per second, 5G has the potential to reach a staggering 10 gigabits per second, a jump that will surely be of interest to businesses across all industries and sectors. The amount of data that enterprises transfer every day, hour, even minute is growing rapidly and with 5G’s speed, moving significant amounts of data won’t cause any network issues.

Higher device capacity 

Estimates suggest that 5G deployments can support one million connected devices per 0.38 square miles, whereas 4G can support just 2,000. With 5G, enterprise networks can host large numbers of devices in their IT infrastructure, all of which can undertake simultaneous data transfer thanks to the network’s larger spectrum band. That means faster load times, more users and quicker transactions.

Increase in productivity for employees 

5G has the potential to create new ways to work but it can also evolve working methods to become easier. With 5G, devices gain low-latency connections to the cloud, allowing for employees to be equipped with low-power devices that run powerful analytics to deliver premium services or streamline warehouse management and operations. 

Higher speeds and lower latency also facilitates better quality conference calls on the go. With 5G, impromptu meetings and collaborative work can be held virtually from anywhere, ensuring leaders and employees will be productive during every minute of the workday. 

Increase in productivity for sales channels

Another benefit of 5G that businesses can utilise is new ways of communicating that makes training easier. For example, augmented reality enhances on-the-job training by providing outgoing input employees need to do their jobs better as they begin new positions. 

Giving sales teams a higher-bandwidth connection to the office and to customers will enhance their abilities to sell. Augmented or virtual reality can provide more immersive experiences for customers. Business cases for virtual and augmented reality continues to grow but they are better accessed with technologies that guarantee high-definition content at a high frame rate, without perceptible delay. This is precisely what 5G delivers, and wirelessly.

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It can transform customer experiences

We have determined that speed comes with 5G, and this kind of performance can be harnessed to transform customer experiences by enabling them to view products without lags. 

Retailers could enhance their ability to let customers try on the latest styles virtually or by allowing them to walk through manufacturing processes without being on-site. These practices are currently being used , but 5G will make it better, quicker and more available to any company with a creative, customer-focused idea. 

It can extend capabilities, by connecting everything

Connected devices are increasingly evolving the way business is done. From managing production remotely and more efficiently, to speeding up deliveries to customers by connecting all relevant processes, harnessing the power of IoT can help small businesses increase efficiency and ultimately their profits.

5G networks were built to cater to the increasing connectivity requirements of the Internet of Things. It expands capabilities by enabling device to device communications for up to million devices per square kilometer. Furthermore, 5G will be more energy efficient due to technical improvements, extending battery lives which will in turn improve efficiency as well.

It encourages innovation

“The FCC’s bold action will accelerate the availability of 5G technology, which means our economy and businesses will be more innovative, resilient and competitive”, says Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council president and CEO Karen Kerrigan said in a statement about the FCC’s vote.

New technology drives new ideas, and 5G opens the door to new business models, products and services that are waiting to be created and offered. The ability to collect and use more data quickly is one of 5G’s biggest perks that will allow businesses of every size to transform business models and create new opportunities.