In today’s digital world, access to online services is a fundamental requirement for business success. Look at the transformation that’s happening in emerging markets as free Wi-Fi and affordable smart phones become the norm. Communications service providers (CSPs) are racing to deliver the fastest, most reliable broadband networks in order to capture market share and become the leading, innovating provider of choice.
That same sense of urgency is currently surrounding the development of 5G networks. Verizon recently announced the availability of its 5G Home fixed wireless internet service in four U.S. cities, becoming the first major carrier to do so. The sprint to 5G has begun, and the opportunities for both consumer and enterprise markets are massive. Access to high-speed networks will not only delight consumers as they traverse the web, but also set a new standard in the types of experiences businesses can create for their audiences.
With the proliferation of 5G just around the corner, here’s a few things to expect:
- Providers will Get Smarter with Bandwidth. The benefits of 5G extend well beyond faster internet speeds. The directional nature of 5G networks allows CSPs to prioritize bandwidth through network slicing. This is important because the amount of data flowing through networks is set to grow exponentially. Rather than straining under the weight of providing one-size-fits all coverage, CSPs can distribute bandwidth to different “slices” of their network to ensure seamless experiences.
- A Stepping Stone for Smart Cities. Connected communities require a massive network ecosystem for information to flow, be processed and analyzed in only seconds. 5G moves the construction of smart cities from the theoretical to the practical. For example, underpinned by the speed and data flexibility of 5G, cities can completely transform their traffic systems. This is already starting to occur as ride sharing replaces traditional transportation options – a study by MIT found that New York City traffic could be reduced by 75 percent by ride sharing. Smart cities and the algorithms that power them can create new efficiencies throughout all aspects of urban life.
- A Need for Balance Between Innovation and Privacy. Between the enactment of GDPR in Europe in 2018 and the growing cost of data breaches – a recent study estimated an average of $3.68 million in 2018 – consumer awareness around data privacy is at an all-time high. The conversations around regulating this new environment extend to 5G networks, particularly how CSPs look to deliver services through access to private data. Consider emergency services. In the event of a catastrophe, location data can be used to ensure individuals are safe or if additional resources need to be dispatched. But customers need to allow that data to be shared in the first place. CSPs, like all companies learning how to balance data privacy and personalization, are still testing the waters of how to deliver the best experiences.
For businesses embracing 5G, every organization is unique in their digital maturity, customer need and the types of service they offer customers. It is vital to understand the opportunities and challenges in this rapidly emerging market, and leverage 5G as a way to enable smarter, faster experiences that ultimately delight customers and capture their loyalty.