5G is often sold as a revolutionary change for industries like manufacturing, healthcare and transportation. While those claims are true, the reality is that there are still a lot of milestones 5G networks need to hit before most businesses are going to be able to capitalize on the new opportunities 5G networks bring.
One of the largest hurdles facing the widespread adoption of 5G is educating businesses on how to best utilize this new technology. Too many people and companies are finding themselves in an area that offers 5G coverage, but don’t yet understand how to utilize that connection.
Asha Keddy, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel, spoke with FierceWireless about what steps she believes 5G providers need to take before they’ll see wide-scale enterprise adoption of 5G services.
“Enterprises are interested in control and we need to find a way for enterprises to have the type of end-to-end control that they need. That includes analytics, security and privacy,” said Keddy.
Right now, the majority of 5G networks available in the United States are those that have been deployed on a wide scale and are controlled by large providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Many enterprise level businesses are interested in the localized opportunities that 5G brings. That means that many businesses are likely waiting until they can use a completely localized and managed 5G network designed just for their business.
5G is such a potential game changer not just because of its speed and power, but because of its efficiency. 5G networks utilize virtualized networking tech and cloud computing like no network ever has before. The reliance on software-based technology as opposed to hardware-based technology makes the system as a whole significantly cheaper to create and maintain than previous systems like 4G. These savings are what’s going to be such a big draw for companies.
A true 5G network should be more than just a wifi signal when it comes to the way businesses utilize the network. The problem is so many businesses don’t know how to use it any other way. That’s why many experts predict the rise of neutral hosts—individuals or businesses that come in and assess how a 5G network can help a company.
Derek Peterson, CTO of Boingo Wireless, spoke with FierceWireless about the importance of neutral hosts. The neutral host is used to trying to balance the needs of different customers,” he said. “It’s about understanding what they are trying to do and then helping them take control of their network strategy…In the past, enterprises didn’t have any options other than WiFi.”
There’s a bigger role for carriers to play in all of this aside from simply providing the 5G network. As FierceWireless points out, AT&T is leading the way when it comes to working with different businesses to show them what they can achieve with 5G.
AT&T has been working closely with retailers to help them create immersive experiences both in-store and online. 5G’s work with virtual and augmented reality can help make those experiences more lifelike and seamless.
The future is 5G, and carriers are pushing to make that future a reality as quickly as possible. As 5G networks become more pervasive throughout the country we’ll see more businesses buying into the world of 5G.