KEY POINTS

  • 5G networks are nearly here — the first will go live in early 2019. Across the world, 5G networks are undergoing the final advanced tests to ensure that the networks are ready for launch. The forthcoming standard has consumers and enterprise cellular customers buzzing alike — and for good reason. The lightning-fast networks will change how telecommunications shapes business.
  • The new standard will allow a higher volume of data to be transferred in a shorter period of time, as it has higher speed and lower latency than 4G LTE. 5G networks could be more than 10 times faster than their 4G counterparts and could boast 50 times lower latency. On top of the speed boost, 5G networks possess a tenfold advantage over 4G in terms of the number of connected devices a network can support — that's helpful for IoT companies that use large numbers of connected devices in concentrated areas, like manufacturing facilities.
  • 5G isn't without its own challenges, though, namely its need for a high number of cell towers, high battery usage, and the network's expected slow-moving rollout. 5G presents a few significant challenges along with its upside. The new standard will require more cell towers than other standards to support its high-bandwidth operations and will likely drain batteries currently used in connected devices. Also, only 20% [...]