It is no understatement to say that 5G is the darling of the telecoms world.
Its benefits are widely espoused as a revolution in the way we connect and interact globally, promising almost instant data access. Many businesses are reading these lofty possibilities and wondering whether they should be early adopters of this technology to get ahead of their competition.
But, what are the benefits of 5G over a fixed line? Should businesses transition their entire connectivity to 5G? Here’s our two cents…
Can 5G replace a fixed line?
In a nutshell, the use cases are completely separate.
While 5G’s utilisation of millimetre waves does offer ludicrously fast speeds over the air, it’s no replacement for a reliable fixed line service. True 5G is significantly affected by ‘line of sight’ (a clear path between the antenna and device), so thick walls, bad weather and distance from your closest mast, can all affect the quality of your connection.
Plus, those 5G masts still connect to the underlying connectivity infrastructure, so why would you leverage a less reliable connection, when a better one is just as readily available?
No business wants to excuse drop-outs on calls, or systems going down on bad weather, so in terms of switching the entire office’s connectivity to a 5G service, it’s a no-go! But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its applications.
Where in an operation is 5G useful?
As mobile connectivity goes, 5G is a great solution for failovers – a back-up in case something should happen to your main fixed line connection, such as local roadworks cutting through your line. Given the comparable speeds 5G offers your team may not even noticed that there’s been a change!
It’s also great for mobile businesses and events, such as a festival or a self-employed tradesperson, that require secure, high-speed connectivity for card transactions. And of course there’s mobile phone deployments, where field-based staff may need the connectivity to download large files via mobile hotspot, making work easier while on the go.
There’s one last factor we want to explain. At the minute, 5G is still new technology, with mast coverage only in large urban areas and a limited number of devices that include the tech. But, as more devices are released and adoption increases, those masts are going to experience a massive jump in utilisation.
As contention rises, your bandwidth and latency may be affected, and given the comparably short distance a True 5G antenna can send the signal compared to 4G, be prepared to see many more masts in busy, high traffic areas!
In summary, the cons currently outweigh the pros.
As mentioned, the technology is still in its infancy and we’re yet to see how well it succeeds. The highly-promoted use-cases of 5G – Remote surgery, instant downloads – are real, but they’re niche.
For many of us, 5G simply represents an evolution of 4G connectivity while were on the move. But, if you’ve got an idea where 5G could really make an impact, we can help. BDR Group have been exploring new technologies and their implementations for 30 years and that experience means we can help you adopt 5G with confidence.
So, speak to our team today on 0800 975 3000 or email us via email@example.com and discover how BDR can support your business’ transformation.