5G – the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity – promises faster data speeds, wider network coverage and greater connection stability, than its predecessors.
5G networks are 20 times faster than 4G, with the capability of transferring up to 10GB of data per second. Devices and platforms operating on 5G have far lower latency (lag) than on 4G. This is a primary “game-changer” for businesses.
5G also connects to more devices than 4G: 1 million devices per 1 square kilometre, compared to 2,000 devices with 4G. In due time, we can expect every device and machine to be 5G-enabled. For now, 5G is used to support and enhance industrial operations such as smart machines, smart warehouses or ports, driverless/remote-operated vehicles from cars to cranes to surgical robots.
When 5G technology becomes more available to entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses will become more competitive and resilient. Indeed, the road to broadening the access to 5G has been paved when the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) streamlined, upgraded and modernized the wireless infrastructure.
Samsung, partnering with IMDA, M1 and IBM, has presented Singapore’s first 5G Industry 4.0 trial to demonstrate the potential transformative impact of 5G on enterprises. The objective of the trial was to develop insights and showcase benefits of 5G, and take Singapore into the next arc of the digital economy.
Incubation efforts to develop 5G solutions and build technical capabilities have also begun with IMDA’s launch of the 5G Living Lab@PIXEL. Businesses, including SMEs, will be able to develop and test 5G-enabled devices and applications, as well as gain insights from sharing sessions and masterclasses with PIXEL’s broader eco-system of innovative start-ups in infocomm media. While the potential for uses are plenty, for a start, the facility will focus on augmented reality (AR) / virtual reality (VR) which is critical for “in-person” experiences. This is especially relevant today, given the increasing need for remote events and activities to support sectors such as retail and construction that have been affected by COVID-19.
Sarah Chua , Vice President, IT & Mobile, Samsung Electronics Singapore said:
According to IDC, more than 50% of organizations in the Asia Pacific region are already preparing to leverage technology to accelerate their return to growth. We have also observed that businesses who invested in remote working technologies like virtual meetings, cloud conferencing, and secure data access were able to minimize disruptions during Circuit Breaker and maintain business continuity. These companies understand the true business value of digitization, having themselves experienced its benefits . Together with our ecosystem of partners, Samsung supported SMEs on adoption of mobility tools, cloud systems and defense grade security,without the need for them to invest heavily in infrastructure.
As we progress into the New Normal and with 5G in the pipeline, businesses are expected to further leverage on technology to thrive and grow. In particular, we see great potential around contactless deliveries and solutions, remote work and collaboration, and a richer engagement with customers online via augmented reality.
How might small businesses benefit from adopting 5G? Here are four ways:
1. Enable Efficient Business Communications
Fast, reliable communications are vital for the productivity, profitability and success of small businesses. Being 5G-enabled lets them respond swiftly to customer queries, and communicate better with employees working remotely.
Due to speedy 5G connections, businesses will be able to stream high-resolution videos, audio tracks and images with negligible lag time. Having instantaneous communication between customers and providers of goods and services can generate greater business opportunities. With faster speeds and enhanced coverage, small businesses will be able to communicate better with customers, clients and colleagues. This is especially relevant in the retail, e-commerce, healthcare, public safety and transportation industries.
2. Complete Tasks, Faster
For SMEs relying on network-related tasks, such as online sales or sharing of documents and files across the cloud, having access to faster internet speeds means these businesses will be able to get the job done faster.
Carrying out vital tasks swiftly improves efficiency; which in turn, can result in greater staff productivity, while lowering overheads and improving bottom lines. Cloud computing has already become a necessary component of contemporary IT infrastructures. The reduced latency in 5G technology lets employees communicate with one another even more effectively and efficiently than before. This would be especially useful for those working in logistics, manufacturing and healthcare industries.
3. Strengthen Capabilities with Internet of Things (IoT)
5G networks are built to cater to the increasing connectivity requirements of the IoT. In enabling device-to-device communications for up to one million devices per square kilometre, 5G will expand the burgeoning capabilities the IoT brings to small businesses. Thus, whether it is managing production remotely and efficiently, or speeding up deliveries to customers by connecting all relevant processes, harnessing the power of the IoT will help SMEs increase efficiencies and ultimately, profits. Furthermore, the technical improvements of networks means that 5G will be more energy efficient than existing networks, resulting in longer battery life for devices, which, again, helps improve efficiency and saves costs. Industries that stand to benefit from this would be transportation, logistics, construction and public safety.
4. Foster Small Business
Innovation IMDA’s efforts to accelerate the availability of 5G technology will help the economy and businesses be more innovative, competitive and resilient. One example of such business innovation would be businesses developing interactive VR technologies, which enable customers to step into dynamic and immersive video experiences. Through 5G holographic projection, which enables users to view 3D video without the need for 3D glasses, businesses can conduct presentations in 3D at meetings, conferences and events. Furthermore, AR and VR technologies, powered by 5G, are ideal in supporting various industries in worker training and productivity.
With the advent of 5G and the new playing field that it creates, agile and creative SMEs can seize the opportunities that it offers, to increase productivity, find new business models and become leading edge players in their verticals. Samsung’s goal is to be a close partner to enable companies to leverage new technologies for greater productivity, connectivity and ultimately profitability. Besides a wide-range of 5G enabled devices protected by military-grade security, Samsung also provides a collaborative ecosystem with telecommunications and IT partners to offer innovative solutions to realise the benefits of 5G.
Samsung’s Executive Briefing Center which is newly renovated will also showcase the latest devices, technologies and solutions and its relevance to businesses, including those who would want to adopt 5G to accelerate growth in the next normal.
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“5G Ushering in the New Era of Mobility” – IDC Infobrief, April 2020