We live in a world where we expect to have everything available at the touch of a button. From speaking to colleagues on the other side of the globe to downloading large files in the blink of an eye, the advancements in mobile technology have caused our expectations of connectivity to soar. And although problems with consistent download speeds and network latency still remain, 5G promises to solve both of these issues.

Today’s mobile computing devices — including smartphones, tablets, convertibles and laptops — are unrecognizable from the devices used just 25 years ago when the first mobile networks launched. Back then, it was all about voice. The second generation of mobile networks added text to the mix, while 3G offered access to data on the move. 4G built on this by providing significant speed increases, and now network operators and device manufacturers are looking to 5G to help solve some of the biggest issues facing the mobile workforce today.

While the exact standards of 5G are still being ironed out and widespread adoption is still some years away, this new technology is set to have a major impact on how businesses operate in several key areas.

5G Increases Speed and Reduces Network Latency

The obvious advantage of 5G is speed. 4G networks have a maximum download speed of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), but 5G will offer maximum download speeds of 10 Gbps, allowing you to quickly and easily receive large files while on the move.

Another promised benefit of 5G is a reduction in network latency, or the time it takes for a bit of data to be sent from one end and received at the other. In the era of voice-only networks, a delay of 100 milliseconds (ms) wasn’t a problem, as the human ear isn’t sensitive enough to notice. But the human eye is more sensitive, and with the addition of text came the need for delays to be reduced to less than 10 ms. In this era of touch interfaces, delays need to be even lower, and the goal of 5G is to reduce the time required for the transfer of data to as little as 1 ms.

Key Areas to Benefit From 5G

The main benefit of this advance will be seen in the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) industry, in which machines communicate with each other, and do so much faster than humans. But a significant improvement in network latency also means more responsive and reliable apps and services on mobile device — features which can be crucial in a variety of industries including education, government and healthcare.

Lower latency networks will also benefit areas such as cloud gaming, where instant reactions are vital to creating an enjoyable experience; self-driving cars, where systems will need to react instantly to data sent from sensors; and augmented reality, where digital worlds collide with the real world.

Advancements in mobility are leading to a dramatic increase in the role of technology in business communication. Here are some tips on how to best utilize these new business tools in your organization.