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5G business
how 5G will
impact business

Author: Rose de Fremery

Businesses have continuously grown more productive in the centuries since the first Industrial Revolution. Now, digital transformation is driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and 5G-enabled technology coupled with mobile edge computing and big data analytics could supercharge productivity.

5G business implications are profound, opening the door to opportunities that could reshape entire sectors. According to Deloitte's Study of Advanced Wireless Adoption, 86% of networking executives believe that advanced wireless technologies will transform their organizations within three years—and 79% think those technologies will change their entire industry in that same period.

The most significant 5G implications for businesses are clear across sectors, from daily business productivity to game-changing digital transformation and beyond.

5G business implications: how network performance affects productivity

Network performance directly affects productivity. Sluggish connections, low bandwidth and high latency hamper even the most productive employees. The shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic has made that abundantly clear. High latency, for example, makes collaborating with colleagues and clients over video calls difficult. Worst case, network hiccups could derail a meeting that could have otherwise generated an innovative idea or closed a lucrative deal.

Network performance is also critical for attracting and retaining top talent. Brilliant employees, particularly the digital natives, want to work at organizations where they can make a difference. They also know that the right technology can enable their success. A high-performing network can help you deliver on this expectation. With the right technology at their disposal, a happy employee is a productive employee—and productive employees boost your bottom line.

5G business implications for retail and supply chain management

5G can pump up business productivity, particularly when combined with other technologies. Retail businesses, for example, could provide customers with personalized in-store experiences, letting them safely and instantly access product information through augmented reality (AR) applications on their mobile devices. Because 5G's attributes include reduced latency and increased bandwidth, both of which are essential for a smooth AR experience, the emerging network plays an important role in enhancing the customer experience. Providing that experience virtually frees employees to manage parts of the job that aren't so easily automated.

Retailers could also give store managers better insight into inventories by placing tracking chips on products. With 5G-powered mobile edge computing, inventories could update in near-real time. With such technology, employees may no longer have to check back stockrooms to verify inventory, and customers could be immediately directed to what they're looking for.

5G business implications could also include visibility into the supply chain. Wireless product tracking could provide accurate near-real time location information, and with greater clarity into the supply chain, businesses could respond to changing market demands with increased agility and speed. As Deloitte notes, government agencies could leverage 5G-enabled supply chain improvements to optimize the delivery of lifesaving equipment, such as ventilators, personal protective equipment and testing equipment, to the areas where it's needed most.

How 5G supercharges digital transformation

5G is a force multiplier for the strategic technologies that are most crucial to digital transformation, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), the cloud and edge computing. According to Deloitte, organizations are looking for more out of advanced wireless networks than reliability and coverage. They are looking to next-generation networks to unlock competitive advantages and create new avenues for innovation.

Even city governments are leveraging 5G to deliver meaningful innovation. Las Vegas, for instance, is deploying its own private 5G network for its smart city infrastructure. IoT sensors and cameras, scattered citywide, collect data that AI can mine for insights to improve quality of life for residents and tourists. AI algorithms can analyze traffic flow trends, for instance, and show city managers how they can optimize traffic to improve safety and make traveling throughout the city easier.

Prepare your business for 5G implications

By understanding how 5G will impact business, you can start preparing today the future and prime your business for digital transformation. For example, you can improve business productivity by getting your unified communications and collaboration solution ready for 5G. You will see short-term improvements, sure: better video calls, faster internal messaging and compatible management tools. But you will also lay the foundation for more dramatic technological advancements that will change the way businesses and customers communicate, such as augmented and virtual reality.

The key to making the most of 5G is partnering with a provider that offers secure, robust and resilient network services. An experienced partner can also help you benchmark your readiness and devise a strategy that leverages 5G and other emerging technologies to move your business forward. In doing so, you could increase your business efficiency and maximize your innovative potential.

Discover how 5G Ultra Wideband can fast-track your business's digital transformation.