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7 ways 5G will boost productivity and economic growth

5G is the latest generation of mobile network technology. It’s set to improve data speeds, reduce connection times and pave the way to a superfast hyper-connectivity of all things. The benefits of 5G are likely to be felt by all consumers, but businesses are especially in line to profit, particularly in terms of productivity gains as 5G has the potential to stimulate economic growth in all kinds of ways. Let’s look at 7 of them.

5G will be another game-changer

4G mobile network technology was a game-changer. It gave us faster speeds and more data. 5G is faster again, but that’s not all. 5G is also stable and reliable. It has features that favor the adoption of bandwidth-greedy applications such as AI, connected vehicles and virtual reality. Even better, it allows big apps to operate simultaneously, without bringing the network to a standstill. This will be of enormous benefit to businesses that want to run data-heavy applications.

Speed and latency

5G networks will significantly speed up data processing. Predictions range from 1 gigabit (Gbps) up to 10 Gbps. Whatever the actual speed, 5G will be pretty fast, delivering rapid downloading times and providing an improved experience for users of high-data apps.

As well as faster speeds, 5G will also provide much lower latency – in other words, a reduction in the time it takes for data to travel back and forth. This will benefit technologies that need to respond rapidly to incoming data from the network. For example, self-driving vehicles running on a mobile network will be able to react to events on the road in real-time, thus avoiding costly accidents.

More capacity

The existing network won’t be able to keep up with the data demands of the growing numbers of subscribers. There are already concerns about the existing network’s capacity at peak hours and in densely populated areas such as CBDs and transport hubs.

5G networks are designed to be reliable, where “reliable” means having a huge capacity and coverage with the ability to function virtually anywhere, anytime. The enhanced capacity of the 5G network will ensure that more individuals and businesses are able to stay connected while still receiving high-quality service.

How will 5G keep up with increased demand? By using a number of different spectrum bands from both the 4G range and the higher frequency range. It’s this latter range that will be instrumental in facilitating the enhanced capacity and high speeds of 5G.

Support for innovation

5G will enable businesses to successfully adopt a range of emerging technologies, including:

  • Receiving and making payments by mobile phones
  • High-quality streaming and video services in real-time
  • Use of large data sets
  • Location tracking of specific components and products
  • Drone technology
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Virtual reality technologies
  • Remote control of industrial or automated processes

The efficiency and productivity gains that these cutting edge mobile technologies will deliver are not easy to quantify. Applications such as mobile payment are already in widespread use, and customer demand is growing. The use of large data sets is also taking off. Companies that base their strategies on big data are already showing good returns on investment, with above-average upswings in both profit and productivity. Clearly, 5G will fuel these positive trends.

Greater participation in the workforce

4G has already brought more people into the workforce and made working from home – or from another location – much easier. 5G will further facilitate this shift in working culture. With more people able to participate in the workforce, GDP will rise, and the economy will grow as a direct result.

New ways of delivering services

In certain sectors such as health and education, the digital transformation has been slower to take hold in comparison to other industries. 5G may change that. Telemedicine (or telehealth) and remote surgery, for instance, will be significantly enabled by the high speeds of 5G mobile technology. The education and training sector, similarly, stands to gain from high-performing virtual reality and augmented reality apps which will allow for immersive and simulated educational experiences. There may well be a revolution in the way health and education services are delivered, all thanks to 5G.

More broadly, new and more efficient business models will probably be created in all industries as the uptake in 5G surges and technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) become more widely used.

Smart cities 

Smart cities rely on connectivity and a robust network that can handle high volume and high usage. 5G will enable cities to become smarter, improving the daily lives of residents, whether through reduced commuting times or increased energy efficiencies. In turn, this will lead to lower pollution levels. These smart cities will be attractive places to live and work, and businesses and top talent will be drawn to them. Economic growth will be boosted as a consequence.

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