5G will bring faster data speeds, higher quality and lower latency to the world’s mobile networks. This powerful combination is expected to unleash myriad new applications and services, when countless devices are connected to copious clouds of data via far more intelligent and dynamic networks. The technology is expected to be so good that wireless will compete against broadband wireline in many markets. It will have the obvious additional advantage of being mobile.
There’s a lot on the line. Autonomous cars, remote surgery, immersive computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) – so much of the promise of digital innovation has been tied to the re-architecting of the global mobile network to 5G, as it rolls out over the next several years. Many of these innovations simply wouldn’t work well enough at slower data speeds, with lower quality and higher latency.
For mobile network operators, this rollout is also a make-or-break transition that will define their own future, as either commodity providers of wireless pipes or the purveyors of a new breed of 5G services. With 5G, they can provide business customers with virtual slices of their networks on which to configure advanced applications – a potentially more profitable market in which they may have to compete with cloud service providers.