Business leaders around the world should be tapping all available resources to understand how 5G will transform their industry.  Further, they can partner with IT to position their business for the possibilities that the next generation in cellular networks present.

Advancements in edge computing offerings are coinciding with the rollout of 5G, multiplying the potential applications for industries including manufacturing, entertainment, retail, healthcare, gaming, logistics, …and pretty much any operation that can benefit from higher throughput, lower latency, and processing at the edge.

Mobile Technology And 5G

Mobile technology has witnessed a major advancement about every 10 years beginning with the basic mobile calling commercial offerings of 1G in the 1980s.  The ‘90s added messaging services with 2G, followed by internet access with 3G in the early 2000s.  Major advancements in carrier core networks coincided with 4G to offer better and faster mobile broadband in the 2010s, enabling a wide array SaaS offerings and data network access options.  The 5th generation cellular network (5G) brings higher speeds, lower latency, and limitless possibilities for advancements in commerce and personal communications.

Carriers have already implemented Low-Band 5G in selected geographies around the country using spectrum below 1GHz, offering a slight performance improvement to 4G LTE.  T-Mobile took an early lead in the deployment and is being followed by the other major carriers.  For business users familiar with 4G LTE network backup services, 5G capabilities will be more widely available throughout 2022 but again, Low-Band 5G performance improvement will be incremental over existing services.

Mid-Band 5G

The Mid-Band 5G capacity layer uses higher frequency radio waves and includes 4G frequencies to complete a range of 3.5GHz-6GHz.  At this layer you can expect download speeds of 500-1000Mbps and latency of 8-12ms, which is suitable for existing and emerging applications such as HD visual recognition and IoT solutions with a high density of connected devices.  Performance will be largely dictated by proximity to cell sites with lower bands extending further from the nodes and offering better penetration of windows and walls.  It is likely that Mid-Band rollout will take several years to reach ubiquity in the most populated areas so IT teams will need to collaborate closely with the business to align expectations.

High-Band 5G

The High-Band 5G capacity layer operates at 24GHz-40GHz millimeter wave spectrum and offers download speeds of 1-3Gbps and 8-12ms of latency. Millimeter wave signals travel a mile or less and are susceptible to interference, including glass, driving up the costs and extending timelines for deployment.  Hi-Band investments are being made in targeted cities such as Las Vegas and at highly trafficked metro zones, venues, and campuses.  ATT 5G+ is a High-Band offering available only to enterprises in select cities, but we expect most of the major carriers to compete hard with small cells and beam-forming techniques to build out profitable nodes throughout 2022 and beyond.

Device Carriers and Devices

As expected, hardware manufacturers are rolling out new devices to meet the rapidly evolving opportunity presented by 5G.  Expect to see many more outdoor modems on office buildings that are positioned to seek the best possible 5G signal supported by their carrier(s).  Even devices as small as a USB are available to support solutions like kiosks and mobile health care tools.  Each application will require hardware that operates in the subscribed spectrum or spectra, with some industrial devices using millimeter wave with LTE backup, for example.

5G is a technology pillar that is enabling the emerging 4th industrial revolution and Macronet Services has the experience and the service provider portfolio to help business executives and IT leaders position for success.  Contact us anytime to discuss how we can collaborate with your teams to bring together ideas and technology solutions to build a plan for success.