Will 5G Be Relevant to Small Business Owners?

Entrepreneurs are usually known for staying on the cutting edge of technology, and today this means getting in on the ground floor of the latest ecommerce and mobile app trends. They offer consumers what they want, before they know they even want it.

You’ve probably read something about the upcoming 5G network and the supposed ‘Internet of Things’ that will come with it… but is this all just hype or is it technology that will help grow your business? Will your clients buy into it too? It’s still a few years away, so you’ve got time to think about it.

But here are a few factors to think about before you set up a 5G google news alert!

5G network

The Purpose of 5G

Do you already use 4G? Then you may think you have some idea of what to expect from a 5G network, the fifth generation of mobile networks. Realistically it’s several years away from hitting the mainstream, but it could bring some massive changes for businesses.

There is no globally agreed upon standard at the moment, but it’s thought that 5G will likely top 500Mbps in speed. However perhaps even more importantly, it will offer 1000 times the capacity of 4G, for simultaneous connections all over the world.

While previous generations of mobile networks were designed to improve service quality for consumers, 5G will be more technical and business-oriented. Cities could become interconnected, upgrading public transport systems and reducing gridlock. Businesses will have wider access to big data, which will just become regular data.

Potential Benefits for Businesses

This could lead to a number of benefits for small business owners, including more reliable connections and increasing ways to communicate with your clients. This could foster global expansion on a level that so far hasn’t been possible, even for the smallest business.

Businessman using tablet PC

Imagine meetings in 3D holograms, or simultaneous transactions all over the world. Your devices will be fully synced with the Internet of Things, which means that you’ll be better able to keep track of real-time marketing, sales, and logistics from anywhere in the world.

This may not sound all that different from what you can already do with a 4G network, and in truth on some level it’s not! But the major difference is that 5G will be far more reliable (if and when it works). You’ll be able to target your customers with increasing accuracy.

Practicalities to Consider

A lot of this is merely speculation, and companies like Nokia Networks are working not only on the possibilities but also the practicalities of what 5G will bring. There need to be improvements not only to network speed, but perhaps more importantly to network capacity as well as a reduction in latency in order to make this work. Another challenge is for all countries and telco companies to work together in order to define this new technology.

The Bottom Line

Do you need one more reason to care? If you’re trying to come up with a new business idea you might want to keep 5G in mind. Government organization Innovate UK is investing £1 billion in business projects that develop new 5G services and applications, running a competition that will hopefully drive the UK to become a leader in developing this infrastructure.

So if you’re ready to start brainstorming, the money is out there!