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What will 5G mean for Next Generation Wireless and the Enterprise?

30 Jan 2019


In this post, TV Tech Expert David McClelland and CANCOM’s Enterprise Architect, Jason Normanton discuss why 5G in the Enterprise could be very exciting. With speeds x10 faster than 4G, what's the potential? Which sectors will benefit most? And what will likely use cases be?  In this third extract from our latest White Paper (Why Emerging Technologies Really Matter), our two experts discuss one of the most exciting tech developments of the future.


Will 5G unleash the true potential of IoT? by David McClelland

I’m beginning to get excited about 5G. There, I said it. I am finally starting to get a sense of what 5G could help to enable.  Let’s go back a couple of Gs to get some context on why I’m so positive about the number 5! 

3G tantalised and frustrated in equal measure, failing to deliver a consistent mobile broadband experience for many UK consumers. For businesses it offered only a patchy promise of mobile working, just as the BYOD revolution was beginning to gather pace.

When 4G arrived, however, it finally delivered an out-of-home broadband experience that truly enabled mobile working, music streaming and video on demand, with massive benefits for the mobile workforce.

So, many will rightly ask what 5G will deliver that 4G doesn’t already?

After all consumers already have Netflix, Spotify, Instagram TV or YouTube in their pockets at perfectly acceptable quality.

But 5G isn’t about what is already connected; it’s about what isn’t.

In fact, it’s about a change of mindset. It’s about how everything we use can be connected without thinking twice about it – and that’s where 5G and the Internet of Things are inextricably connected.

Analysts variously predict that anything between 20 and 50 billion devices will be connected in one way or another by 2020: 5G will help to provide a platform – although not the only one – for this.


Source: Gartner Will 5G Boost the Adoption of Smart Living

5G could eat broadband for breakfast by Jason Normanton

Firstly, it is worth stating upfront, we probably won’t see any commercial 5G services before at least 2020.  5G standards are set to be ratified in two releases. The first, Release 15, was ratified in 2018 and gives us a glimpse at what is possible.

The second is scheduled to be completed by March 2020. Until it’s live it’s impossible to say definitively what speeds will be.

What we can say, is that 5G network speeds will be significantly ahead of what’s currently available with 4G.

A minimum expectation for commercial 5G services is x10 faster than 4G. This would make our fastest broadband speeds look slow by comparison.

Estimates put download speeds at up to x1000 times faster than 4G, potentially exceeding 10Gbps. So, to put that into context, this would enable the download an entire HD movie in less than a second!

Network Type

Download Speeds

3G Network


4G Network


5G Network

1-10Gbps (theoretical)

Whatever the final commercial speeds are, the rollout of 5G in the UK is set to be a game-changer. Providing it isrolled out to most of the country.

And here’s the caveat. For 5G to be a true game-changer from an IT services perspective, there’s needs to be blanket coverage of the entire geographical area where the services offered will operate.  This is where I feel the UK’s government approach to auctioning the 5G spectrum to the highest bidder is not in the best interests of the consumer, or the telecoms industry.


Source: SDX Central

Blanket coverage aside, let’s consider what new possibilities new speed brings?

5G in the Enterprise

  • For Indistrial and Massive IoT 5G could provide a renewed momentum for Smart Cities. Data, sensors and devices could be used to optimise daily life. 
  • Gartner predict 5G Networks will have a paramount role in Autonomous Vehicle Connectivity with Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications
  • Further opportunities for industrial automation, via robotics and drone control. 
  • For healthcare it could make remote diagnosis and surgery a reality.
  • For media and entertainment, 5G promises an ultra-high-fidelity media experience

In part two of our latest White Paper I outline how you can prepare your network for emerging technologies, like 5G, by "standing on the back of giants".  Using emerging technologies, such as AI, in platforms like Microsoft Azure, it's possible to limit risk and quickly start demonstrating value.


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