With T-Mobile’s release of its low-band 5G network, we are seeing the first step toward revolutionizing the telecom industry. While low-band 5G does not deliver the game-changing speed enhancements yet to come with full-blown 5G, it opens the door. 5G at its full potential (mid-band) is all about speed and our ability to access, better utilize and improve technology—and all of the telecoms are racing to bring the full potential to their customers.
The implications of what 5G technology brings to other industries are not obvious. With 5G set to make real, tangible strides in 2020 across a variety of technology and telecom applications, Escalent gathered our company’s industry group leaders to outline the unexpected ways in which vastly increased speed, bandwidth, coverage and reliability will shape the future for companies across the breadth of our industry expertise, from tech and telecom to healthcare and everything in between.
T-Mobile made 2020 the year of “5G for All,” essentially giving 200 million Americans access to nationwide 5G via its network. Despite a long buildup period by industry players and speculators outlining the benefits of 5G, many consumers have simply shrugged at the premise of a newer, faster standard for their mobile devices, assuming this change will mirror prior incremental advancements.
While this may feel like an evolution over the existing 4G LTE standard, consumers are in for a surprise when 5G is leveraged to its full capabilities. With the speed and reliability of in-home, wired broadband at consumers’ fingertips wherever they go—including rural areas facing limited in-home and mobile connectivity options—the benefits for video streaming and productivity are apparent.
– Nancy Arter, Senior Vice President, Technology & Telecom
The future of mobility is tightly connected to 5G and similar such technological developments. While most consumers are focused on the current and near-future state of autonomy in their vehicles, what is often lost is the importance of infrastructure support for autonomous vehicles. With 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will provide exponential developmental leaps for autonomous safety and reliability.
5G is one of the cornerstones required to bring the vision of driverless vehicles to life for everyday Americans, from building a foundation of trust and reliability for autonomous services to the creature comforts of on-the-go entertainment and mobile office amenities. For transportation companies, the movement of goods via truck will improve as 5G-connected autonomous delivery vehicles are able to optimize routes in real time and reduce average delivery times.
– Jason Mantel, Managing Director, Automotive & Mobility
Business intelligence tools are changing the way retailers do business, offering real-time data and monitoring designed at the store level. Retailers can expect to harness the speed and bandwidth 5G offers to implement these expansive platforms and make the most of them. Additionally, the insights gleaned from these new tools will illustrate new ways business owners can serve their customers’ needs with a keen awareness of their preferences.
For consumers, the transition to 5G means the retail experience becomes even more seamless. Online and mobile ordering options will become more reliable as networks improve, while the fulfillment of those orders may radically change. Imagine automated shoppers designed to assemble shopping baskets in real time so customers need only pull up to an express pickup line for an easy drive-through grocery shopping experience.
Business leaders and their consumers will feel 5G’s impact at the cash register, wherever that may be in the store. Reliable, high-speed internet access throughout the storefront—or beyond—opens the doors to completely reimagining the way customers interact with a retail space and makes novel concepts like Amazon’s “Go” shopping experience possible at scale. Even stores in remote locations will have a leg up, as they will be able to tap into 5G to serve their connectivity needs and won’t have to rely on traditional, more expensive satellite connections that are more difficult to deploy.
– Jill Miller, Senior Director, Consumer & Retail
As an “always on” industry, the energy industry faces significant infrastructure challenges when building new generation and distribution sites. In addition to the equipment and capabilities required to generate power, remote production sites must have lightning-quick, bulletproof connections for usage, performance, maintenance and production monitoring. To date, those needs have been met only by the capabilities of wired connections. With the ubiquity and “plug-and-play” nature of 5G upon full deployment, providers will be able to set up temporary sites with the same capabilities offered by permanent stations quickly and seamlessly, offering a new level of flexibility in power delivery.
In addition, 5G technology will enable platforms to have significantly more demand flexibility to help integrate increasing amounts of intermittent renewable resources, such as managing EV charging demand in real time based on solar or wind production. Thanks to the low latency 5G offers, frequency regulation will be possible through distributed devices in the home, including water heaters, EVs, home batteries and other demand sources that don’t need to be “always on.”
This functionality is likely to push the smart home to the next level. Utilities will be able to more effectively leverage the smart grid and provide more reliable service via devices and mechanisms that can monitor grid performance and quickly adapt without the need of a wired connection.
– Chris Montaglione, Managing Director, Energy
The ATM is about to get a lot more personal. With 5G, banks can implement live-video conferencing in new ATM installations to offer the personalized service of a teller interaction, even in remote locations without a physical bank present. The added benefits of remote, face-to-face banking are countless, from customer service and experience to added security for every transaction.
For trading professionals, speed is money. Individuals and organizations looking to handle and transfer large sums of money will see the benefits of 5G speeds right away. Additionally, advisors will have better access to their clients (and vice versa) for critical, on-demand decision-making via video chat and shared access to supporting information.
– Linda York, Senior Vice President, Financial Services
Speed and reliability are among the most important features for any product or service that plugs into our multi-stage healthcare delivery system. With 5G, doctors are handed a whole new set of tools with which to serve patients, from remote specialist consultations to emergency care direction during ambulance rides. Underserved rural communities will gain access to specialists thanks to powerful telemedicine platforms that save lives through faster diagnoses in critical situations and the performance of highly technical procedures remotely via robot.
Another added benefit is real-time, uninterrupted transmission of data from wearable technology and other patient monitoring devices. Data management becomes much easier, too, with high-definition imaging data transferable instantaneously for diagnostics and analysis. Costs and concerns could drop as patients reach improved outcomes quicker and more directly.
– Katy Palmer, PhD, Managing Director, Health
5G is set to be the biggest improvement to connectivity since high-speed internet took the mantle from dial-up. 5G will enable new products, service offerings, quality-of-life improvements and more across a wide range of industries wherever it is implemented. Companies planning for that future will have a leg up in making the most of the technology’s capabilities and position themselves to emerge as leaders in their respective fields.