You’ve heard about 3G. You’re currently using 4G and possibly 5G depending on who your network provider is.  The roll-out of 5G networks across the UK began in 2019 by the major UK mobile carriers including EE, Vodafone, O2 and BT.  It is now available in over 160 major cities and towns, with more coming on stream to offer national coverage.

Super-fast mobile communications, autonomous cars, smart homes, uninterrupted HD streaming and IoT (Internet of Things) are just some of the capabilities that are enabled by 5G. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. (Gartner)

5G is set to be a game-changer and is a huge leap forward for both consumer and businesses applications.  Businesses needs to make sure they do not miss out on the advantages and service capabilities it brings.

As a business, do you really need to invest in 5G? Why should you make this investment? Does it have a direct effect on my business?  Whilst many companies are investing in 5G, some remain unsure about the costs versus its benefits.  This article offers a guide to explains more about 5G and what it means for business.

What is 5G?

5G is the new generation of wireless technology and is more than 10 times faster than 4G.  It is designed to work at average speeds of 150-200Mbps, with peak speeds reaching 1Gbps.  It significantly increases bandwidth capacity, speed and efficiency.

5G has been purpose built to enable fast mobile broadband connectivity from multiple locations.  A single 5G base station can connect over 100,000 active devices at any one time, which is approximately a hundred fold increase versus 4G.

5G internet for business

As a business, it is important to maintain efficiency in everything you and your employees do.  Connecting via 5G supports this by improving bandwidth speed and connectivity wherever your staff are based, on site or remotely.   Business are already starting to take advantage of these benefits as 5G becomes available in more locations.

Most network providers offer 5G subscriptions for the same price as 4G services.  As a result, SMEs can get many of the benefits of faster mobile connectivity for no extra cost. So, it makes sense to upgrade to 5G if you get the opportunity.

Whilst 5G enabled phones and devices are currently seen as premium, prices are falling as more come to market and 5G becomes the new mobile communications standard.

Do you really need 5G as a small to medium business enterprise (SMEs)?

The short answer: yes. 5G brings some clear commercial opportunities, not only in terms of efficiency, growth and profitability but also customer engagement.  5G and the harnessing of IoT means almost anything can be connected from anywhere and data shared within an organisation.  This gives a real insight into customer habits, process  and  service demands.

SMEs have huge opportunity to use the data they collect to identify and create new service opportunities for their business and build a truly responsive service culture.   For example, improving remote monitoring and diagnostics services.

Are you curious about the other positives of 5G? Here are specific reasons why 5G internet is for businesses:

Faster Data Transmission

The speed increases brought by 5G means home working using mobile networks will become even faster and more convenient. Mobile networks will offer a genuinely viable alternative to fixed broadband, even in hard to reach areas. Large files can be downloaded in seconds, home based colleagues can work faster and communicate more effectively.  There will be no waiting or lag for VoIP, cloud applications or mobile working.

From remote working to HD video conferencing, there are many ways a business can benefit from faster networks.

More Reliable Networks

The increased reliability inherent within 5G technology means fewer ‘not-spots’, fewer dropouts or poor signal areas and much more reliable communications. Within a business environment, this should encourage greater collaboration and better information sharing.  For your customers, they will have reliable access to your staff and customer portals, and for those working in you call centres, they should always have access to data they need to offer the highest standards of service.  Overall, your organisation’s communications piece will become more holistic and connected.

Reliability is key in any business so it will benefit every aspect of your work as it affects how you run your business.

Enabler For IoT

The 5G rollout coincides with the rise of the Internet of Things and the increased speed and capacity of 5G means it should always be up to the challenge. No more contention, no more latency, fewer outages thanks to intelligent routing and better network monitoring. IoT depends on three things, coverage, network speed and low latency. All things 5G will deliver.

If you’re planning to use the IoT to improve internal processes or offer IoT devices to customers, having the network behind you to back them up benefits everyone.

Flexibility

Remote working is already incredibly popular but depends on home broadband to work. 5G networks will bring control back to your business by ensuring all remote workers use your network and not their own. If you already use a unified communications solution, imagine what you have now, only much faster, more reliable and much more efficient.

Bringing home working back under your own network offers greater levels security, the ability to track, monitor and improve efficiency, lower office running costs and deliver a more responsive service to your customers for very little outlay.

Disaster Recovery

If you have staff distributed across the country or even the world, 5G brings real resilience to a business of any size. If your office network goes down, it is unlikely 5G will too. If key workers experience power outages or broadband downtime, 5G can pick up the slack without losing time or productivity.

Distributed call centres can deliver exceptional service without the need for a physical call centre and all the costs that go with it. Unified communications supported by 5G means everything can be done with phones or laptops, meaning whatever challenges your business faces, you can always maintain productivity.

So what does 5G mean for businesses? Taking the Next Step

The advantages of 5G for business are clear.  We would advise any business to look to the future and speak to a trusted technology partner to work out how you can migrate to 5G, whether it is simply switching from a 4G to 5G mobile voice and data plan or adapting your IT and telecoms solution to make it 5G and IoT ready.

On top of building competitive 5G plans for customers and supplying devices, Excalibur can provide additional mobile services that will keep your business data and devices secure with its MDM (mobile device management) solution.  And, when it comes to IoT, Excalibur can supply the specialist SIMS required for IoT devices that ensure maximum coverage, performance and flexibility.

As mentioned earlier in this article, 5G is set to be a game-changer when it comes to business efficiency and understanding your customer.  It has the potential to touch many future business and service applications – many of which have not even been thought of today.  It is here now, competitively priced and is increasingly accessible.

For information on Excalibur’s mobile services and 5G please visit:  https://www.excaliburcomms.co.uk/mobile-services-2/

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