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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 28 June 2021
  • Liam Edwardson

5G: A Giant Impact for Small Businesses

Chances are you have heard the phrase “5G is coming” for months, even years now. So, what is 5G? Well, G stands for generation. For broadband cellular networks, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard that is in the process of replacing 4G. By 2025, 5G is expected to have more than 2.7 billion subscribers around the world.

All you really need to know is that 5G is faster than anything you have ever seen before. Experts estimate 5G is up to 100 times faster than 4G. This breakneck connection speed will have many benefits for small business.

person in a warehouse with digital tablet

5G benefit #1: “It’s connected already?” connection speeds

The maximum connection speed of 4G is 100 megabits per second. 5G has the potential of 1,500 megabits per second. 5G lets you leave lag and latency behind, which means you can download software in a blink of an eye. You can stream 8K videos like cable TV. And those stuttering, freezing and pixilation issues during Zoom conference calls will be a thing of the past.

5G benefit #2: Left to your own (copious amounts of) devices

The more devices your business uses, the more power they drain from your network. It is estimated that 4G handles up to 2,000 devices for roughly a third of a square mile. 5G will be able to carry up to one million connected devices for that .333 square mile. That means your 5G-enabled network will be able to handle the most advanced Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, and many more of them.

5G benefit #3: Treat everyone to their own slice of network

Network slicing is splitting a single physical network into several virtual networks. Each virtual network can be connected, dedicated and reconfigured to different kinds of services or segments of your consumer base. What this means is that your business can connect to its very own private 5G network, dedicated to bringing out the most of each of your particular business needs. Network slicing also enables your small business to get new products and services much faster from mobile network operators such as Verizon and AT&T. Each network slice is fully adaptable as your business’ needs change and evolve.

Finally, network slicing allows for more powerful security. If cybercriminals attack one virtual network, the other virtual networks are separate and unaffected.

5G benefit #4: Out of the office is most definitely in

The prospect of 5G’s instantaneous, seamless, ultra-reliable internet connection will particularly benefit small businesses whose employees work remotely. These work-from-anywhere warriors will have increased remote access software to communicate and collaborate with clients, colleagues and executives. 5G also helps remote employees whisk through network-related tasks, including sharing large cloud files and online marketing, and can dramatically increase their productivity overall.

The noticeably higher speeds and infinitesimal latency of 5G will most likely mean sharper, clearer, more reliable conference calls on the go. And the potential of tapping into augmented reality and virtual reality will eventually make Zoom, Google Meet and other online conference call hosts feel like you, your staff and your clients are all meeting in person.

5G benefit #5: For the Internet of Things, 5G’s the thing

Simply put, 5G networks enable better, more reliable device-to-device communication so business works faster and better in all aspects. 5G exceeds the requirements of the Internet of Things, which is defined as a system of computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, and, strangely enough, people or animals that have the ability to transfer data over a network. This includes smart refrigerators, smartwatches, smart fire alarms, smart door locks and other devices that function without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction-- basically, all the stuff that works in the background. 5G also improves battery life, making just about every device more energy efficient.

5G benefit #6: Go forth and innovate

Thanks to 5G, a small business’ potential is only limited by the small business’ imagination. For example, with faster and more secure internet, technologies like 3D printing are more attractive for manufacturing and design businesses.
You will be able to harness virtual reality and 5G holographic projection. And we have only begun to explore the possibilities of artificial intelligence, robotics, drones and perhaps even stuff that hasn’t been invented yet. Savvy small businesses will be able to totally disrupt their marketplace.

Upgrade or play catchup

Now, not every small company will need to upgrade to 5G right away. It depends on what type of business you are in. And in some locations, it may not even be available yet. But consider that faster, more efficient and dependable mobility and functionality can lead to more productivity and profits. 5G’s speed, power and bandwidth could break your industry wide open.

It is clear that 5G could take your small business to the top of your industry. Do you want to risk your competitors getting there before you do?

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