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What is 5G?

What is 5G?

What is 5G?

5G Technology

5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology. It is a generational leap in technology where everything is new: new spectrum frequencies, new radio and new core network. While 4G’s speed and capacity have accelerated the app economy and mobile video, 5G is a platform for entirely new innovations.

Tolakan research shows that companies that invest in advanced network capabilities such as 5G will grow revenue 2.5 times faster in the next three years.

Why does 5G matter?

5G Technology
5G and cloud
Previous network technologies were not ≥built for today’s highly distributed world of cloud, edge devices and remote work. Cloud-enabled networks powered by 5G—along with other technologies such as edge, open radio access network (O-RAN), and software-defined wide area network/secure access service edge (SD-WAN/SASE)—seamlessly connect across the dynamic capabilities of the Cloud Continuum, from the public through the edge, and everything in between. As more and more companies are migrating to the cloud, we are only starting to see the business impact of 5G.

5G impact on industries

5G technology is already having a transformative impact on the economy, spurring economic growth by:

  • Creating new industries, products and business models. As 4G unlocked the app economy, 5G is poised to unlock higher bandwidth, near real-time responses, the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and mission-critical products and applications.
  • Improving productivity and reducing costs, leading to increased economic output from the same inputs.
  • Optimizing service quality significantly and, therefore, consumer willingness to pay for goods and services.
  • 5G unlocks rapid data and insight-driven decision-making.

It is estimated that 5G could add up to $1.5 trillion to US GDP and up to €1 trillion to European GDP over the next five years (2021-25).

How is 5G different from 4G?

5G Technology
It all began with 1G, which was the network that unlocked mobile voice. Then came 2G, which added the ability to send text messages. 3G expanded on that with a network that could handle mobile voice, text and data. Eventually, 4G added mobile internet to the mix, connecting humans with devices.

With 5G, things get even more exciting because 5G will connect everything—humans, machines, objects and devices. 5G will converge the physical world with the digital while adding hyper-personalization for particular use cases. For example, 5G can be deployed as a private network or a network slice, both of which can further customize and enable the Cloud Continuum. 5G’s economic importance could be as revolutionary as electricity or the automobile, and it will play a massive role in transforming economies.

What can 5G offer?

5G is fueling a massive digital shift, from product development to transportation, from entertainment to agriculture. There are five areas that underpin 5G’s transformative power:

Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB)
5G delivers high bandwidth and speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second to enable ultra-high-definition video and data volumes. High-speed mobile broadband enables applications that require rich data transfer in both upstream and downstream directions, like virtual reality and extended reality (XR).

Massive Internet of Things (mIoT)
5G can provide simultaneous connectivity of up to 1 million connections per square kilometer. This dense connectivity is key to implementing advanced massive IoT applications.

Mission-critical services (MCS)
Mission-critical applications like remote intensive care units demand reliability and speed. 5G can carry network traffic with latencies as low as a millisecond when that time is the difference between life and death.

Private wireless
Private wireless networks offer an on-premise and purpose-built network solution that secures business-critical operations. A private 5G network supports indoor and outdoor operations without the impact of legacy and ad hoc wireless designs. Of the executives in our Tolakan study, 84% plan to invest in a new campus network or modernize the existing one, and 67% are planning to set up a 5G campus network.

Network slicing
A network slice is a useful solution for wide area networks. It allows a connectivity provider (e.g. a carrier) to create a fit-for-purpose connectivity solution in which the customer (e.g. a utility company) gets a “slice” of the public network tailored to their goals.

How can businesses prepare for 5G?

5G technology creates new experiences, delivers cost and productivity benefits, unlocks new products, services and revenue streams, and helps harness the value of the Cloud Continuum. 5G networks also support sustainability thanks to the technological shift from legacy networks, driving significant energy demand reductions and reducing carbon emissions.

Explore new use cases made possible by 5G connectivity
Companies in the manufacturing, healthcare and natural resources industries are the furthest along in their journeys to 5G.

Make 5G part of your sustainability strategy
There are countless high-impact ways to use 5G technology — not only to make our world greener through the likes of connected and automated farming, intelligent energy grids and intelligent asset management, but also to make it safer through enhanced vehicle safety and automation and to drastically improve remote healthcare and even remote surgeries.

Manufacturing: Energy savings are driven through automation, machine learning and digital twins enabled by 5G, fiber and cloud.

Agriculture: The use of sensors, alongside real-time monitoring solutions enabled by 5G connectivity and automation, is a crucial solution for limiting agriculture’s impact on the environment.

Utilities: In grid optimization, energy supply is balanced with existing demand to prevent any losses on the grid. 5G-enabled real-time monitoring, coupled with the use of sensors and drones, can help reduce emissions and predict faults before they happen.

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