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5G: Transformative technology worth the wait

February 24, 2021

5G: Transformative technology worth the wait
We’ve previously highlighted in this blog how 5G will simplify, speed up and supercharge UCC moving forward. Beyond the hype is the reality that 5G network infrastructure isn’t as widespread as it was expected to be by this time.

The 4G towers being used today can deliver signals more than 30 miles. 5G towers have a much shorter range of approximately 1,500 feet. As a result, 5G requires significantly more towers and antennas to account for the shortened range. Getting that 5G network infrastructure in place is taking longer than expected.

However, if you and your customers aren’t yet able to harness the power of 5G, don’t worry; rollouts continue, and some pioneers are helping to show how formidable this technology will be once broadly available.

Private wireless gains steam while we wait for 5G
Industries that can benefit most from the speed and reliability of 5G aren’t waiting for the new technology to roll out. Instead, they’re launching private wireless networks that deliver the scalability, speed, coverage and flexibility they need while they wait. In many cases, they are using hybrid networks that include 4G/LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi.

According to an article by Deloitte, “private 5G networks can be configured to a location’s specific needs and configurations can vary by site, depending on the type of work undertaken in each venue.” Additionally, a private network gives more control to the customer when it comes to security, maintenance and dealing with issues.

Industries that find appeal in private wireless solutions include construction, manufacturing, mining, logistics and more. UCaaS uses include document sharing, conversation escalation and virtual collaboration.

AR/VR communication is the future of UC
In the real world, humans process sensory information in near real time. While many of today’s AR/VR solutions can be effective for virtual collaboration, there’s a problem with latency in critical applications. Some of today’s high-end AR/VR solutions experience latency in the 20-30ms range. The target is to get down to 5ms. By using 5G and edge computing, it’s hoped that undesirable latency can be eliminated. IDC predicts spending on mixed reality (AR/VR) communications to jump 80% this year to just under $19 billion, so this is a hot area worth tracking.

5G empowers edge computing
Another area we see 5G and edge computing affecting change is with autonomous driving. For genuine autonomy, a massive amount of data and processing power is needed. By pushing computing to the edge (the cars themselves) and relying on ultra-fast and reliable 5G, autonomous vehicles will have a greater capacity to transport passengers safely. While solution providers might not be able to capitalize on the autonomous vehicle market, there will be plenty of other applications where one can leverage the speed and reliability of 5G network infrastructure.

5G network infrastructure might still be “just around the corner,” but there are plenty of ways you can get involved today, even if it’s just preparing your customers for the change. To learn how to work 5G into your solution set, contact Chad Simon, Ingram Micro’s UCC expert.


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