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5G is Coming – But what can it do for me?

Article By Brendan Cole | | Technology Consulting

5G is the latest advancement in the wireless networking space, coming as an upgrade to 4G LTE technology that has been in use for roughly 10 years now.

The specification for 5G provides some massive shoes to fill over the next few years: huge data transfer speeds, extremely low latency (the time it takes for information to reach devices), and cheaper to run infrastructure.

It’s being touted for its possibility to revolutionise the medical space, hypothetically allowing doctors to perform remote surgeries using robotic equipment; as well as powering the self-driving cars of the future – allowing them to process data at blistering speeds to make the right call in every situation.

While these are entirely possible for 5G, such exciting prospects should be seen as goals rather than capabilities during the initial phases of rollout. It will take time for infrastructure to be built, compatible devices produced, and optimisations to be performed.

Initial rollouts are beginning in Australia with some test sites already setup in Sydney, and carriers providing lists of suburbs that will have access to 5G networks in the very near future. But as with the rollout of 4G LTE, it will take time for these networks to truly harness the potential power of 5G.

Media buzz will likely surround the rollouts of these networks, but as always it will be important to consider the long-term benefits rather than let the technology’s reputation be based on its initial results.

While 5G is unlikely to ever replace fibre connections in the business space, it does have exciting prospects for those who can’t install dedicated fibre links or have users who are often out of the office. Potential download and upload speeds on a fully implemented 5G network would allow very large files to be transmitted in seconds, as opposed to minutes or hours with 4G.

5G is very much a “watch this space” for the time being, and as with 4G, it will likely be some years before it becomes nationally available. But once it has, the new possibilities it will bring are very exciting for businesses and consumers alike.

If you’d like to check that your business is using the best network technologies that it can, please get in touch with the Innovations Team for advice on your current network capabilities.