5G is being billed as a technology powerhouse due to its superiority over its predecessors. It provides an abundance of network capacity, higher bandwidth, and lower latency in comparison to LTE and other previous generation technologies. As suppliers and mobile service providers increase adoption of 5G, however, they tend to view success in relativity to the network speed and performance of their competitors. The most powerful 5G network isn't solely correlated with improved bandwidth and latency.
Much More than Just a Faster Network
In fact, telecoms and MSPs have barely scratched the surface of 5G’s capabilities, which extend far beyond just network performance enhancement, and should be considered much more than an access technology. While 5G's networks can deliver bandwidth up to 3x faster than older generation networks, and cut latency time in half, this is true only under specific conditions — deployment over mmWave spectrum, delivery through large carriers, or outdoors.
Given that the average end user experiences only a slice of the true performance delivered by 5G, it's more realistic to view the technology as a transformation tool, capable of supporting a number implementation scenarios across both licensed and unlicensed spectrum, as well as across public and private networks.
Unleashing 5G's Potential
MSPs are correctly noting that LTE technology upgrades are not the solution, and that successful 5G deployment is about more than simply performance enhancement. 5G networks are highly scalable and can solve a variety of pain points across multiple industries, as well as address new use cases and applications not otherwise possible with existing networks. Market demand across technology platforms has precipitated the need for 5G to enable the launching of new services measured in days and weeks, rather than months or even years. With regard to connectivity, 5G can extend the capabilities of macrocells and small cells, transforming them into intelligent computing hubs that can bring smart services close to the end user. The potential of 5G can be a tremendous catalyst for success in vertical markets such as industrial automation, cloud gaming, and smart transport systems — helping them also achieve their full potential and capturing new revenue growth opportunities.
What Does a Successful 5G Deployment Look Like?
A successful 5G deployment strategy should ideally center around business processes that 5G can support, critical organizational problems it can help alleviate, and expanded business opportunities it can unlock across numerous industries. 5G was initially designed to fit the needs of the consumer market, followed by an eventual expansion into the enterprise. However, ROI has been slow to generate speed, with ABI Research estimating that MSPs relying solely on consumers as an end user may not see justifiable returns for as long as 15 years.
Numerous Possibilities Ahead
5G will not thrive on bandwidth and latency enhancements alone, and to take full advantage of the potential of 5G, MSPs must embrace the technology beyond what lies ahead for the consumer. The future of 5G depends heavily on how it will also be deployed in the enterprise space.