Consumers have been seeing commercials touting the new 5G technology for a while now. Most of these messages are coming from cellular service providers, which may lead the average viewer to believe that the advent of 5G means little more than that their phones will have more reliable connections. In reality, 5G’s potential is much greater than that.
Tech experts say that with its significantly faster upload and download speeds, 5G has the potential to revolutionize how we live and work. While some of the biggest benefits won’t be seen until 5G has extended its global reach, the technology is already making big changes in entertainment, connectivity, big data and more.
So where has 5G already had a significant impact? Below, 13 tech industry experts from Forbes Technology Council detail the benefits 5G is already bringing to both businesses and consumers.
1. Powering Remote Work
Covid-19 changed the world by proving to us that we can work from anywhere. Because of 5G, people can now start to live in their most desired locations because they have high-speed wireless internet. The full implications of 5G for work and quality of life are yet to be realized, but it could mean a radical culture change. - Jordan McQuown, George Jon
2. Augmenting Edge Computing
5G brings with it better edge computing features, augmenting the existing cloud infrastructure. This helps businesses that are transactional (such as fintech, mobile banking and trading apps) or that require live interaction (such as online gaming, live sports and robotic surgeries) to utilize sub-10ms latencies and create new user experiences that were never possible before. - Ahmad (Al) Fares, Celitech - Cellular Data PlatformMORE FOR YOU
3. Enabling Immersive Brand Experiences
In a post-pandemic world, retailers are seeking innovative ways to engage consumers. 5G has enabled immersive interactive brand experiences, powering high-res video, 3D, 360-degree and augmented reality experiences. Further, as advertisers shift away from user-level targeting, the high level of user engagement enabled by 5G-enabled creative content will be essential. - Alistair Goodman, Ericsson Emodo
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4. Supporting Sustainable, Efficient Farming
5G is already driving change and efficiency for hundreds of industries, including agriculture. The introduction of 5G technologies to the ag space has meant data capture has increased at an exponential rate. This means that growers can access invaluable field-level insights in near-real-time, helping them increase sustainability and efficiency and ultimately grow their bottom line. - Graeme McCracken, Proagrica
5. Improving The Performance Of Apps
5G already provides substantial application predictability advancements. This equates to more reliability and less data loss for consumers using business applications. As cellular networks increase bandwidth, the quality and quantity of the content delivered also increases. Without 5G’s predictability progress, developers couldn’t operate at the edge and reliably deliver this bandwidth to end-users. - Joshua Bixby, Fastly
6. Providing Real-Time Insights Into Product And Process Performance
Data is the new oil, and 5G technology makes it available to the masses. The opportunities to collect data are endless. Our ability to distribute enormous sums of data with low latency and near 100% uptime allows us to gain real-time insights into product and process performance. Trending baseline data establishes the foundation that leads us to predictive outcomes and, eventually, AI. - Naveen Poonian, iBASEt
7. Reliably Connecting IoT Devices
5G provides greater bandwidth, making it more reliable and accurate for connecting multiple Internet of Things devices, including cars, appliances, robots and sensors. 5G technology has also improved connectivity for those businesses that are built around the cellular network. It has taken these businesses closer to the millions of consumers who use 5G-enabled devices. - Roman Taranov, Ruby Labs
8. Duplicating On-Premises Experiences
5G brings parity with on-premises networks — not in terms of raw speeds, but in terms of usability. A 5G experience is as good as an on-premises network. In many cases, 5G vastly outperforms public Wi-Fi hotspots at cafés and restaurants and provides one less network hop (for example, to a restaurant’s router), thus improving security and reducing the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks. - Murray Foxcroft, ProArch
9. Enabling New Automations And AI Technologies
Although 5G is limited now compared to what it will be able to do in the future, it has already made a big impact in the business world through the influx of new automation and AI technologies. The lower latency and faster speeds offered through 5G will be hard for businesses to ignore. When it comes to preparing for the future and modernizing businesses, automation and AI are key ingredients. - David Finkelstein, BDEX
10. Spreading Video Consumption
5G is already having an impact on how people consume media. I believe we will see more people watching video content due to the lightning-fast loading times offered by 5G. This trend impacts both consumers and businesses. It gives consumers a new way to interact with online companies and offers businesses new ways to create highly engaging content. - Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
11. Powering Interactive Fan Experiences
With sporting venues reopening, 5G and over-the-top services are driving stronger connectivity options for heightened fan experiences. Stadium operators are recognizing 5G’s capabilities, leading many stadiums, such as Los Angeles’ SoFi, to have infrastructure centered around the technology. I expect to see a rise in partnerships between sports leagues and 5G providers, such as the NBA and Verizon, to power interactive fan experiences. - Jason Carolan, Flexential
12. Encouraging Investment In Tech R&D
Communications-services providers and vendors of networks and tech hardware, software and services have seen the largest 5G impact. To accelerate demand, carriers have invested billions in 5G infrastructure. Tech industry hardware, software and services vendors are likewise investing in solutions to serve the coming needs of new technologies such as smart cars, immersive entertainment and gaming, and video monitoring, among others. - Michael Gurau, Altman Solon
13. Improving Rural Connectivity
It is widely reported that remote working has been a surprise success during the pandemic. Some of this is due to the fortunate nationwide rollout of 5G, which has helped rural and remote workers in previously poorly connected areas by providing solid 5G internet connections. The range, low latency and speed of 5G have all allowed disconnected workers to remain productive. - Micheal Goodwin, Server At Work