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In the Zone

5G: wanted by many, understood by few

Kevin Jacoby's picture

by Kevin Jacoby on 12/11/2018
Blog Category: advanced-technologies

Do your customers understand the impact 5G could have on their businesses and lives? Do they even know what 5G is?

A recent study commissioned by Intel and conducted by Ovum finds that the number of Americans willing to pay extra for 5G service is inversely proportional to the number of those who fully understand it.

More specifically: Nearly three-quarters (74%) of the respondents said they’re willing to pay extra for 5G. Limit responses to the so-called “tech elite,” and that number goes up to 91%.

But when asked about the details of the next generation of wireless communication, about 6 in 10 (58%) admitted to either not being knowledgeable about 5G — or not even having heard of it!

Speed thrills

If your customers need a primer on 5G technology, get them started with 3 little words: It’s way faster.

The 5th generation of wireless cellular mobile communications will be so fast, it could do away completely with wired broadband in the home. Users won’t even need to plug in a modem. Instead, their high-speed internet will be broadcast from the nearest cell tower at up to 20 gigabits per second.

But we’re not talking about speed simply for speed’s sake. High-speed cell service has far-reaching implications. For instance, consider those fleets of self-driving cars many of us are hoping for. To operate safely, they’ll need 5G’s dramatically reduced latency.

Latency is the time it takes to pass a message from sender to receiver. It’s exactly the thing you don’t want when your self-driving car is deciding how to dodge a school bus and save your life at the same time.

That’s (also) entertainment

The most anticipated benefit of 5G by far is better, faster, more reliable entertainment networks. Once 5G reaches its full potential — experts say that could be sometime between 2020 and 2025 — users should be able to download huge ultra-high-definition (UHD) video files in mere seconds.

Video games will stream in and out of cellular devices at breakneck speed. And no matter where you are, you’ll be able to binge on Netflix, edit 4K cat videos, and remotely control semi-autonomous vehicles from your mobile device.

5G Tipping Point

As the figure above shows, the Intel/Ovum report estimates that entertainment experiences could account for as much as $1.3 trillion of the total $3 trillion estimated cumulative wireless revenue opportunity.

Big channel opp

The tech industry is expecting 5G to be a whirlwind, sweeping through the market in a fury of dollar signs, commas and zeroes. It stands to reason that channel partners should be able to help themselves to their fair share of the revenues.

For starters, we’re all going to need new hardware. Every desktop, laptop, convertible, and mobile device will need to be 5G-compatible to take advantage of this new wireless wonder.

Vertical markets like education, healthcare, and manufacturing will have to spend widely and wisely to empower their internal and mobile workforces for 5G, too.

But it’s the gear we haven’t imagined yet that should be the most exciting.

Having access to a never-before-seen level of mobile bandwidth will spawn new products, perhaps even new industries. 5G will forever change the way we think about technology and what it can do for us. The only limit will be our imaginations.


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