One of the things I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about is the reality of 5G and the impact it is going to have on the market. However, it isn’t going to hit handsets until late 2019. The current 5G E service is LTE or 4G Evolved. The most current version of 4G is sometimes called an LTE solution. But the reality for me isn’t whose first or what name are they going to use for the service. Its what 5G will do to the office. It’s not that 5G or fifth generation networks are going to come into a place of work and redecorate. It is, after all, a wireless protocol, not an interior designer. That said, as the fifth generation of wireless connectivity, it presents many interesting possibilities. When fully implemented, 5G will give you between .6 and .8 gigabytes of connectivity. On LTE devices today, it takes between 30 and 40 minutes to download a full two-hour movie. While some places are faster and other places are slower, some places don’t let you download anything, so you get that blinking “no cell service” light.
However, on a true 5G network, you will complete that movie download in less than 10 minutes. Now, regarding Workplace impact, that will be interesting. My opinion is that we will see significantly more mobile applications in the Enterprise in the next few years. Why? They will have the bandwidth to deploy those applications. But, the reality of that deployment is that in fact, it is still on a mobile device. I’ve written many articles on the overall concept of the screen as-a-as service, but don’t send me a 1,000-line Excel sheet on my phone. I can’t see the sheet and act on the information you’ve sent me. However, 5G will allow more information to be sent quickly to my mobile device. So, in my view, it will change the applications of tomorrow radically. I can now bifurcate the application and separate networks, processing and devices. I can also create islands of 5G services and use those much like we use microgrids in the power production and consumption world. I can create a connected yet independent system. Faster bandwidth to go to my device. It will change how we build and deploy applications in the enterprise. But my original statement was that this was going to change the office. Organizations can deploy a 5G bubble in a space and no longer have to use Wi-Fi networks and extenders. A smart company that is paying attention will purchase two things, a 5G enabled handset and a cradle. It is important to note that there is no 5G E enablement necessary because you can get 5G E with the LTE phone you now have in your pocket.
Simply put, they only need to have a 5G handset connected to the network. When you sit down to start your day, you just put your phone in the cradle. Now your computer has access to the 5G network. Your cell phone integrates with your computer. And laptops can have integrated 5G cards, as well.
Now applications can push around more data. Of course, the biggest security risk will be that 5G device in the wild. But 5G, as it exists right now, won’t solve that problem. The 5G solutions of tomorrow will allow for applications that move larger amounts of information.
Connectivity will become more important in the 5G world, but the cell phone may ultimately replace the desktops and laptops of today. Why carry a laptop when you can cradle your phone and have access to everything?
By Scott Anderson