5G networks will not be standardized until 2020, but many telecom companies are already getting ready and presenting improved network offerings similar to what 5G will offer.
People are understandably excited about 5G, especially since it should offer extremely fast speeds and virtually no latency.
Businesses must start planning now how they will get ready for 5G too, such as by allocating portions of their budget to scale up for the technology as required.
It’s not sufficient to start planning only when the technology is widely available. If companies take that approach, they’ll get left behind.
Some industries seem set to reap the advantages of 5G. Here are three that fall into that category and two that’ll likely find their sectors compromised when 5G is available.
1. Health care
Analysts believe that 5G will lead to tremendous advancements in health care, especially concerning personalization for patients. For example, physicians could examine information collected by wearable health trackers over 5G networks and use another technology — such as predictive analytics — to see how statistics about a patient have changed over time, then provide the proper treatment.
Virtual reality applications for medicine as well as improved telehealth applications should both be possible through 5G.
Then, people could find it even more accessible than they do now to get health assessments without leaving their homes. Doctors providing care in remote areas could even engage in video consultations with specialists to receive insights for challenging cases.
Better remote monitoring for chronically ill patients and enhanced language translation technologies that overcome communication barriers are among the other likely advancements people can look forward to thanks to 5G.
5G will positively impact the transportation sector by facilitating less traffic congestion, shorter public transit waiting times and safer conditions for drivers. Some cars will even communicate with each other to boost safety.
Many automobiles available today already have integrated features that help the cars brake or avoid swerving from a lane.
These features increase safety, and 5G should facilitate more progress, particularly with autonomous vehicles. Projections indicate that wirelessly enabled self-driving cars could save 21,700 lives every year — as well as cut costs by billions of dollars.
5G could also revolutionize transportation by improving the maps people use to get around and the onboard technology that cars have, such as entertainment systems and diagnostic features.
3. Manufacturing and product development
As mentioned earlier, companies must be proactive about preparing for 5G. Taking such an approach puts entities in a prime position to tap into the benefits of the new technology. When businesses deploy 5G technologies, they can anticipate improved applications, more reliable communications with customers and faster data transfers.
Plus, companies that develop or manufacture products should see exceptional gains from what 5G will provide. Many manufacturing plants already depend on connected equipment that tracks data or warns of failing components.
Product developers also rely on high-tech equipment to mine through marketing data, develop prototypes and more. 5G will facilitate the day-to-day operations of those businesses and spur innovations.
However, businesses that use 5G must be exceptionally careful to maintain security best practices. Statistics collected from 2016 found that 22 percent of companies that experienced data breaches lost customers afterward. Researchers have already raised the alarm about security risks with 5G. As more people start to use the new network, the potential attack points will rise.
1. Environmental conservation
People who work in the environmental conservation sector already have their hands full fighting the increasing effects of climate change. Research shows that the 5G network might give them more concerns.
Scientists already know that electromagnetic radiation has disruptive effects on wildlife. A European-Union-funded review body wanted to examine the possible environmental ramifications of deploying 5G.
The group looked at nearly 100 studies and concluded that the 5G network could worsen the adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation on wildlife. In addition to interfering with migration patterns, scientists think electromagnetic radiation is associated with declines in animal and insect populations.
Some recommendations suggest not placing 5G transmitters on street lamps. Many insects are attracted to light, and the presence of the equipment there could increase their exposure to the radiation.
A particular difficulty ahead for people who work to support wildlife conservation is that some of the possible effects of 5G radiation will not be evident until years after the network gets widespread use, making professionals scramble to do damage control.
2. Cable and satellite TV
The cable and satellite television industry came under threat due to streaming services, especially as people got used to getting content whenever they wanted instead of only when providers scheduled it. It’s likely that the availability of 5G will also put companies in the sector at risk.
About 90 million people in the U.S. still get broadband internet, phone service and TV channels through cable or satellite providers, but Verizon recently unveiled a service that lets customers subscribe to the brand’s version of 5G. AT&T is following its lead.
Given these developments, it’ll likely be hard for companies like Comcast and Charter to continue to compete over a long-term basis. One worst-case scenario put forth by business analysts suggested Verizon and T-Mobile alone could take 11.6 percent of the broadband market by 2024 by offering 5G services.
One notable thing about Verizon’s rollout of its 5G service is that it debuted in markets where the company is not already the dominant provider. It suggests that a shakeup could happen if the offering is as successful as the brand hopes.
Planning to adapt should help industries prepare for what’s ahead
Although 5G has advantages for many industries, it’s not positive for all of them.
Fortunately, all sectors can get poised to take advantage of some benefits by planning how to adapt to 5G — including evolving their business practices when appropriate.