Many things have become uncertain amid the coronavirus pandemic, but one thing we know for sure is the growing need for remote interactions. Case in point: Connectivity powered by telecommunications has seen an extraordinary increase in volume across voice, data, Internet, cloud services and mobility. And, as the last few months have shown, universal high-speed connectivity and sufficient capacity are requirements for the future world of business.
To help you adjust to the ever-expanding needs — and potentially growing costs — of connectivity in the coronavirus era, we’re providing an exclusive series of insight straight from the SpyGlass technology expense management experts.
First up: Top 5G Revolution Questions Answered
Q1: What is 5G and how is it different from 4G?
Described as “the fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity,” 5G is set to become the new benchmark for data connectivity. With promises of faster downloads, uploads, a wider range of coverage, lower response and connections that are much more reliable, 5G is becoming top of mind for many organizations and enterprises who are planning for the future.
Three top differentiators set 5G apart from 4G, with the main difference being speed. 5G will be able to achieve connectivity not possible with 4G technology. To get the big picture of 5G’s power, the very best 4G LTE connection can supposedly transmit data at 100 megabits per second (Mbps). Comparatively, a 5G connection is projected to hit 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). This speculated speed is 100 times faster than the data networks used today. For example, it takes about six minutes to download a two-hour movie on a 4G connection; a 5G network would allow you to download the same movie in 3.6 seconds.
Another key factor of 5G is lower latency, enabling faster transmission of larger data streams. Also, 5G will repair many bandwidth issues frequently experienced with phones on 4G and 3G networks.
Q2: What’s the benefit of 5G for my business?
5G’s lightning-fast speeds, near-instantaneous communications and increased connection density makes it superior for remote interactions. One of the primary benefits will be for the growing reliance on teleconferencing. With Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Zoom becoming the norm for remote work, we predict employers’ dependence on teleconferencing tools will strengthen the case of 5G connectivity. Bottom line: 5G connection will provide you real-time and uninterrupted communication that’s not possible with most current wired connections — a connection that’s imperative for wireless and videoconferencing.
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Q3: When will 5G be available?
A major 5G technology shift is underway, with carriers insisting 2020 will be a turning point for its rollout. In 2019, AT&T and Verizon switched on their 5G networks in a small number of cities, but they expect their 5G networks to be accessible nationwide sometime this year. While it seems this time table would be delayed due to the impact of the coronavirus, many factors seem to predict the adoption of 5G sooner than later. For example the demands of bandwidth increased 75% in one week during March; in addition, the U.S. government is paying around $10 billion to satellite providers to fast-track the auction of 5G C-band spectrum by 2023.
Q4: Will 5G require new phones?
Yes, 5G connectivity will only be available through new — and relatively costly — phones made for 5G. Even if you don’t have 5G in your service area now, you probably will in the near future and the long-term future advantages of these new phones may outweigh the investment.
Q5: How much will 5G data plans cost?
We’re not really sure as the carriers are still playing with pricing. Overall, the cost of 5G will be more expensive than 4G and will mainly depend on the type of phone, your network provider and the type of contract. For instance, Verizon’s earliest 5G plans charged $10 a month for those with compatible smartphones; AT&T’s unlimited extra plan, which includes 5G access, costs $75 a month for an individual line.
Find out how easy it is for SpyGlass to begin working with your providers to save on your connectivity costs.
Next up from our technology expense management experts: Securing your connection with VPN know-how. Don’t miss out— sign up for Technology Audit Insider today.