I gave a cloud computing talk in a rural Midwest town a few years ago. I went on and on about the benefits of using the cloud. During my talk, I noticed a lot of folded arms and concerned faces. The reason? They did not have high-speed internet available to their businesses, so using a public cloud was not an option for them.
I learned that day that you can’t assume everyone has high-speed internet access. Most rural areas don’t, unless they pay for high-latency and high-cost satellite.
5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, preceded by 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS), and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G advantages include high data-throughput rates, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reduction, greater system capacity, and massive simultaneous device connectivity, at a practical cost.
It’ll be a while before 5G comes to a tower near you, but it promises low-cost, low-latency high-speed internet for all, no matter where you live or have a business. This is the missing link for many people and businesses, when it comes to using cloud computing.
What’s different about 5G is that its purpose-built for homes and businesses. It is not the use of a cellular network that can only support a few devices tethered via a Wi-Fi hotspot. Instead you can run a good-sized business over a 5G network, and do so with no T1, DSL, cable, or other wired broadband connection on premises.
5G is the functional equivalent to businesses getting electricity for the first time. Access to cellular broadband means that they can use cloud-based systems to begin to automate things that should have been automated years ago, but that they had to defer due to availability and affordability. This means connectivity for IoT devices (whether outside or on factory floors), the ability for staff to use analytics to understand where their business stands, and the ability to train employees online on the latest processes and technologies wherever they happen to be.
Those of us who log onto our 200Mbps networks at home or at work often take connectivity for granted. However, those who don’t have broadband will discover the whole new world of cloud computing with 5G that can take their businesses to the next level. It’s about time.