5G - it's going to change the face of business, you know?
As a smartphone user (and we’re being bold here and assuming you are one), you’ll be familiar with the various symbols at the top of your device’s screen. Battery life, signal strength, and for many the most important; the types of mobile network connecting your phone to the internet in the absence of Wi-Fi.
Since the 1980s, there have been four main generations of mobile network connectivity, each made up of various technologies and standards. 3G was the first most people came to know and literally means ‘third generation’, whilst the more recent 4G stands for ‘fourth generation’. You’ll never believe what 5G stands for.
This fifth and latest incarnation of connectivity is set to bring about all kinds of changes for users. Here, we focus on five ways the business world is to be shaped by 5G.
Quicker website and app loads
Which is essentially what is meant by the phrase ‘lower latency’, a phrase you’ll hear a lot on the subject of 5G. And its importance to a business’ performance cannot be understated.
Consumers you see, have become a spoilt bunch. The quicker internet connections have become, the less patient they’ve grown with delays. When we say, ‘less patient’, American technology and services company, Aberdeen Group found that 40% of shoppers abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. THREE SECONDS! Now, there are things that can be done to improve the response time of a website but ultimately, it can only load as quickly as the connection it sits on allows.
Current 4G delivers a response time of around 50 milliseconds when using web-based applications, even in supposedly strong signal areas. 5G, by contrast, will boast 1 millisecond end-to-end response times for a fibre-optic-like experience. For the shopper, this will mean instant website loads. In other words, that curiously restless 40% identified by Aberdeen Group, will be perusing your products within a second or two of arriving at your homepage.
More reliable remote working
The contemporary professional is rarely in the same place for long. We have become a mobile workforce. In the office on Monday, working from home Wednesday, in a Travelodge in Cleethorpes by Friday.
This has been made possible by the advancement of technologies such as video-conferencing, VoIP, and Cloud-based collaborative tools like Dropbox. However, the modern-day mobile worker can only deploy these tools so long as there is the connection to facilitate their deployment. A home or hotel Wi-Fi might be best in class, but on the lay-by of some godforsaken A-road, connectivity might not be quite so resilient.
A 5G infrastructure, rolled out nationwide, will mean the mobile worker has an improved chance of connecting to clients and co-workers wherever they might be meaning a reduction in missed opportunities and critical liaisons.
More reliable transactions
The internet shopper isn’t what he/she was even five years ago. Traditionally, they could be found hunched over a laptop at the kitchen table hooked up to the home Wi-Fi. Nowadays, they can just as easily be found sat at the bus-stop buying their over-priced anti-aging moisturiser on their iPhone.
As competent as 3G and 4G are at connecting shoppers to checkouts, a higher latency than that 5G offers, coupled with sporadic coverage means that connection may not be made. Or the shopper will deem the three second wait for the page to load too intolerable and cancel before debit card details are inputted.
Given that 5G provides speeds that allow for full HD movies to be not just streamed, but downloaded in less than 10 seconds, it’s an obstacle to purchase all but wiped out.
Upscale in Cloud migration
Once 5G is rolled out, the need for various software to accessed on company premises will become more unnecessary than it ever has. One of the main arguments for keeping technologies onsite has been that if Wi-Fi connection is lost, ethernet is on hand to bail you out of the brown stuff.
The limited capacity of 4G has stood as a primary reason many businesses have been unwilling to rely on it as a secondary solution to Wi-Fi failure. There simply isn’t enough bandwidth in current mobile network frequencies to enable a smooth experience for multiple users within an area.
5G will greatly expand such capacity, both through the opening up of new and less congested frequency spectrum and the smarter use of this spectrum. It will be intelligently allocated to individual users based on their specific requirements, so there will always be exactly the right amount of network spectrum for whatever task is being performed.
With Broadband and 5G providing supreme wireless connectivity, the latter from any location, organisations that keep their software onsite will become a curious rarity.
Enhanced customer service
The statistics surrounding the importance of outstanding customer service are compelling. Even when taken as a given how vital it is.
For example, on average, it costs approximately five times more to attract a new customer to your business than it costs to retain an existing one. The probability of selling to a new customer hovers in the range of 5-20%, whereas selling to an existing customer resides in the range of 60-70%. An American Express survey found that a staggering 78% of consumers have backed out of a transaction or failed to make an intended purchase because of sub-par customer service.
In short, there is no room for complacency when it comes to customer service.
Customer service though, can be hampered through no fault of the organisation. As unfair as it is, connection problems which interfere with correspondence can damage a customer’s perception of that organisation.
Better connectivity means more reliable connections. It means customers can interact with companies and vice versa more quickly and more comprehensively. Issues to be resolved that require a resilient and fast internet connection can be resolved without the threat of downtime and regardless of where either the customer or professional is located.
Widespread 5G roll-out isn’t expected until sometime in 2022 but that shouldn’t stop you getting excited. It’ll be worth the wait.