5G: Why Businesses Need or Don't Need It

Comcast Business San Francisco
November 29, 2018 - 11:00 am
Internet Around the World

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To keep pace with large corporations, independent business owners need every technological advantage they can get. As a result, tech-savvy founders may have heard the rumblings about the game-changing capabilities of 5G. However, while the latest generation of mobile wireless technology has incredible potential, it may not be an innovation worth investing in just yet.

 

How businesses can benefit from 5G

As 5G service has not yet been introduced throughout the United States, it’s hard to say which businesses could benefit the most from its adoption. A fully functional 5G network offers high-speed and high-capacity wireless internet, and could potentially be used by any business that maintains a digital infrastructure. As this Forbes article points out, 5G’s rapid response time and robust bandwidth might be able to provide automakers with the networking capabilities they need to mass-produced self-driving cars. If that proves to be correct, 5G-equipped vehicles could be supremely helpful for any company that has a logistics department.

Moreover, 5G’s theoretical capability to deliver seamless gigabit internet to several mobile devices within a defined area with no drop in quality could have major implications for the industrial sector.

 

Why 5G isn’t that helpful, at least yet

For all of 5G’s promise, there is one problem with the wireless technology — it isn’t quite ready yet. Although all the major wireless carriers have announced plans for a 5G rollout in 2019, it’s probably going to be a while longer before the technology is widely available. As The Verge explains here, 5G is set to receive a staggered release in select major cities next year before going national. As a result of that limited initial availability, giant smartphone makers like Apple aren’t expected to release 5G capable mobile devices until 2020 at the earliest.

For businesses operating in major cities that hope to use 5G to give their operations a speed boost, there may be some issues there as well. As opposed to older generations of mobile tech, 5G uses short wavelength and transmission range wireless frequencies that can be subject to interference from everything from doors to walls to windows. Until its inconsistent connectivity issues are resolved, 5G would be a poor replacement for a high bandwidth dedicated internet solution.

Lastly, Wireless One has reported that the first wave of 5G technology might only be 20 percent faster than existing 4G LTE. However, due to the increased telecommunications royalty rates for 5G, providers will likely end up charging businesses a profit-eroding premium rate for access to faster internet.

 

5G could be the future, but the future isn’t now

Although 4G capable mobile devices became available in the United States in 2010, it took years of development and costly setbacks for wireless carriers and mobile device makers to fully harness the power of that emerging technology. That pattern will likely repeat itself once the 5G rollout begins next year. While the fifth generation of wireless technology may live up to the game-changing potential, conscientious owners should stick with a proven wireless high-speed internet solution until 5G comes into maturity.  

 

Comcast Business has the largest IP network in the nation, serving the needs of small business through large enterprise customers. Technology solutions range from fast, reliable Ethernet and Internet connectivity to voice, video, and Managed Solutions. Comcast Business is powered by an advanced Gig-ready network and 24/7 technical support. Learn more at business.comcast.com/san-francisco.

For more tips, inspiration, and San Francisco small business stories, visit smallbusinesspulse.com.​