5G will transform how employees work and communicate. From connectivity to collaboration, 5G could also be a key element in your long-term strategy for business growth.
Yet despite the game-changing potential of 5G, research suggests that only 15% of business decision-makers are thinking about how they might use the new technology. If you want to stay one step ahead, we've highlighted five areas for you to focus on to make sure your business is ready for 5G.
1. Establish where 5G can make the most impact first
Any small business that's creating a long-term strategy for growth needs to manage costs carefully. Yes, 5G can provide a welcome performance boost to businesses, but why would an investment in 5G produce better returns for you than any other investment in technology? The answer is simple: 5G is the gateway to improved working practices across your organisation.
Research shows that employees are consuming data all the time, with the average smartphone user spending three hours or more on their device daily. You'll want to make sure that the time spent working on these devices is productive. Estimates suggest downtime can cost small businesses up to $500 a minute. With a reliable 5G connection, your employees can spend less time worrying about connectivity and more time focusing on doing great work.
5G will give your mobile users the performance and speed that they might usually associate with a fixed landline connection. With 5G, employees that work remotely can communicate with head office using HD video, access all the apps and data they need from the palm of their hands, and send and download large files on-the-go.
2. Prepare networks and cloud services
Mobile network providers are investing in networks and services now so your business can benefit from 5G in the long-term. Researcher Market Insights says global spending on the infrastructure supporting 5G will grow 43% annually through to 2025.
If you want to enable high-speed connections in your organisation, then you'll also need to make sure that your networks and services are ready. Taking full advantage of 5G connectivity means making extensive use of the cloud. By using the cloud, your employees can access whatever tools and data they need, on-the-go using their mobile devices.
As the Harvard Business Reviews suggests, 5G is ready-made for the cloud. It's high-capacity networks support the use of data-intensive applications that might not have been possible using 4G networks. High-speed access helps explain why almost half (48%) of small businesses rank cloud computing as one of their top-three spending priorities for 2020.
3 Find partners and providers
5G means your workers will be able to use more data when they're out and about, which could be a big change from a cybersecurity and business process perspective. You'll want to know that a move to 5G means your organisation is prepared for this change.
That's where a trusted partner can help you to make the most of next-generation networks. Look for a partner that can help you manage your devices and your connections as your business grows and your employee's requirements change.
That's where a trusted mobile network provider will give you and your business the confidence to know it can handle 5G. Look for a partner that can provide a dedicated account manager to proactively manage your service requirements. The account managers offered as part of EE's Business First service will help your business make the most of its mobile devices.
4. Understand the difference that 5G makes
2020 is the year of 5G. Analysts predict that demand for 5G services will create a boom in investment. Global spending on 5G will rise annually over the next 8 years from $8.43 billion in 2020 to $827 billion in 2028.
Your business will want to make sure it's ready to take advantage of the opportunities that 5G presents. You'll need to understand how 5G differs from 4G, why the technology matters to your business and how it will allow your employees to work in new ways, such as using data when they're out and about.
With the right business plan, there's no need to worry about throttling and speed caps. For example, unlimited data plan means your employees don't have to worry about how much data they're consuming. This would mean that you can take full advantage of the performance boost to mobile working practices that 5G brings.
5. A new era of connectivity
5G isn't just about the mobile devices that your workers use today and tomorrow. 5G also promises the higher bandwidth and ultra-reliable, low-latency communication needed for the next generation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These devices will help usher in a new era of connectivity.
Research suggests 70% of SMEs are already looking at or using IoT platforms to improve current products by connecting them to the internet. And 52% see it as a springboard for launching new services. In short, 5G offers a platform to support technology-enabled business growth and to help your organisation to continue to transform digitally.
Businesses all over the UK are waking up the power of 5G. If you want to be ready for the upgrade, then you need to know your employees, applications and business processes are set for the switch. Get it right and your 5G-enabled devices will support the long-term strategic growth of your business.
To find out more at https://ee.co.uk/business/small/network/5g/
More business related content from EE:
- Digital transformation for SMEs: A short guide
- Five things to consider when your business moves to 5G
- Protecting your mobiles from a rise in cybersecurity attacks
- How smartphones are boosting productivity for SMEs
- The impact of unlimited data on business
- Customer Service that makes mobile working for SMEs easier, not harder