5G is in the active rollout stage and is said to revolutionize mobile data and remote operations in the same way the wireless phone revolutionized communications, which is why some companies are even considering the technology as a primary connection. But, what looks simple on the surface is actually quite complex under the hood. This is why understanding wireless 5G integration complexities is key to harnessing its full potential.
What Can 5G Do?
5G is said to provide over-the-air gigabit speeds and ultra-low latency without the build time or costs to the end user often required with fiber and other cable-based technology integration. No longer will CIO/CTOs have to wait months for a buildout and setup of a traditional wired connection; ideally a new location or office can be up and running in a matter of hours.
Also, with 5G not only promising blazing speeds but ultra-low latency, it has the potential to be a major component of the connected world that includes things like driverless cars, telemedicine, and even drone tech for rapid insurance documentation purposes. The technology can handle thousands of more devices per square mile as well.
5G In The Real World
For the past couple of years carriers like AT&T, Verizon and others have been testing 5G technologies throughout the US. These tests were promising, with sustained speeds of 300+ Mbps, with peak speeds around 1.5Gbps and latency rates between 9 and 12 milliseconds even in varied atmospheric conditions.
All wireless signals can be susceptible to interference, and 5G technology is no exception. Using technology like mmWave, carriers tested 5G performance in varied conditions and these tests yielded good news for CTO/CIOs. Testing results demonstrated similar results in harsher terrains and climates, ranging from cold Michigan winters to hot dry Texas summers, but also yielded some surprising results.
The base network upgrades to make 5G possible appears to allow 4G LTE to also handle many more devices as was demonstrated in their Waco Texas trial. Typically, carriers would have to deploy cell on wheels (COW) for massive events. But in the case of the Magnolia Spring Festival that brought a crowd of about 70,000 people, the 5G trial network was able to provide connectivity without the aid of the COW’s.
The tech sounds promising, but before CIO and CTO leadership start to ask for a new budget line item to integrate 5G into their offices, there are a few wild cards to account for.
5G Carrier Release and Rollout
There are still several questions on how 5G will be released to the public and obviously, this impacts CIO and CTO plans (and budgets) for 5G integration. Will there be various tiers of speeds? Tiers of data allotment packages? Our 5G team believes that early networks will be capable of delivering 1Gbps speeds, but there is a high likelihood carriers will likely opt to cap speeds below 500Mbps and/or limit data allotments to limit the affect on their networks.
And don’t forget, we’ve been promised high speeds before. 4G LTE and then LTE Advanced also promised 100Mbps-1Gbps speeds, but approximately a decade later most 4G networks rarely average more than 40Mbps with many locations still under 10Mbps.
Corporate 5G Integration
5G very well could be the holy grail of networking, providing your company the freedom and speed you need to be adaptable. For your company, proper 5G integration could enable new innovations, collaboration opportunities and unlock speed of operations previously unseen.
Understanding how your locations, company size, unique needs, application demands, and many other factors will determine if 5G will unlock new opportunities for remote operations, serve as a backup solution layered on top of existing network infrastructure, or your primary connection.
Chris Moeller is 3 Tree Tech’s 5G Expert. He and his team have the expertise to tame your tech infrastructure. If you’re considering wireless 5G implementation, Gen 2 SD-WAN, or other tech integrations, call us to simplify the complex.