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5G – what it means for your business

We’ve just been to the 5G World event at London’s Olympia, and it’s clear that whether you’re an employee or a business owner, a reliance on fast data speeds and network capacity has never been more essential to our working lives.

With consumer demand for mobile services on the rise, it’s little wonder mobile network providers are looking ahead to the next evolution of broadband-on-the-go internet – 5G.


5G is an advanced network technology in the research phase today, which will bring a lot more capacity, a lot more speed. That in turn requires more spectrum or radio waves to be released, and then major investment and deployment.”

Dr Mike Short CBE, Vice President, Telefonica


So, 5G is the future of mobile technology, but what does it actually mean for you, your business, and your customers? Technology firm Ericsson has published some fascinating insights into what could be coming our way.

5G will be fast. And that means less waiting, and more time for you to do whatever you need to. Imagine downloading a Full HD movie in a matter of seconds, rather than minutes, or sharing large, 500mb presentations with your colleagues instantaneously.

Capacity will increase to allow for billions of connected devices – smart homes, smart cities and smart cars will all become the norm and unless WiFi advances at the same rate, there’s a good chance 5G could mean we’re always connected and don’t have to rely on jumping from one wifi hotspot to another.


“From a consumer point of view I think 5G offers all sorts of options. There’ll be much more home working, so if they live in a smart home the ability to live and work and be educated at home will be much more readily available. I think things like smart cities will mean they’ll be better informed before they go into a smart city, whether it be parking, or congestion, or accident avoidance.”

Dr Mike Short CBE, Vice President, Telefonica


There’ll be more investment. With new technology comes new regulation, and that’s why the EU has committed 700 million Euros to research and development in the hopes of getting 5G into early commercial use by 2020, including the UK.

“I love to take the pulse of evolving technologies, I like to hear what people say, I like to hear what people invent, and then think how we could shape the regulatory framework in order to accommodate all that.”

Iona Surpateanu, EU political advisor


The internet of things will take shape around us, with machines speaking to machines over whichever network is most efficient to create smart cities which use real-time information to affect everything from traffic to energy supplies, flood controls and emergency services allocation.


Phones and other devices will evolve. It’s not just policy makers and mobile networks looking forward to 5G. Handset manufacturers are also part of the 5G shake-up.

You can expect these handsets to have longer battery lives too, if the current GSMA criteria for 5G devices are met, meaning faster browsing for longer without the need for a midday charge.


“Today’s handsets do not carry 5G, so they will need to upgrade their handsets. But I think some of the added functionality, quality of service, capacity, speed, that will all help several customers in that area.”

Iona Surpateanu


It’s still early days, and 5G is still about four years off. But how will your business be able to take advantage of 5G when it arrives? Think digital first. 4G is already opening up lots of new possibilities for businesses and customers. But don’t just think of websites and apps – consider using data to better serve your customer and delivering a richer experience, from higher resolution video content to more comprehensive apps and services that enhance our businesses and our lives.


To find out more about the latest 4G phones or to pick one up for yourself, go to the O2 Business shop



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