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What do predictions about 5G mean for the Future of Mobility?

With the recent exponential growth of mobile devices, it is hard not to look ahead for the next big thing that will transform technology as we know it.

One current hot topic is 5G. While most industry experts agree it is a ways off, there are obvious reasons for excitement — including how it will impact the future of mobility, the Internet of Things, and ultimately the Internet of Everything.

If 5G is all that it’s speculated to be, the mobility landscape will be in for a dramatic change , especially as businesses and organizations embrace all that 5G stands to offer such as ultra-fast network speeds and an increase in capacity.

However, while the industry grapples with understanding “just what is 5G” many experts, such as Peter Jarich, Vice President of Current Analysis Consumer and Infrastructure services, declares that it is “more relevant today than you might think” as 5G will introduce new network architectures. In addition, many of the technologies being developed today will be a part of the longer-term implementation of 5G.

Recently, I participated in a new Future of Mobility podcast with Peter Jarich to discuss what IT and business leaders can do today to prepare for the evolution of the 5th generation of mobility and speculate on long-term implications. You can listen to the full recording here.

In this post, I’ll share some of those key insights from my discussion with Peter and discuss why 5G will revolutionize how we define mobility.

Let’s start at the beginning. What’s all the hype with 5G?

Since we are in the technology industry, it’s pretty standard to hype emerging solutions and ideas. However, the jump from 4G to 5G will be similar to the evolution of 2G to 3G, in that it will enable a broad range of new capabilities through lower costs and faster speeds.

We see a lot of buzz words surrounding 5G such “infinite capacity” and “virtualization of the network,” but really, it’s not just about how wireless technologies can be applied to what people are doing, but also how we connect everything to the network in a way to best meet our needs.

In terms of mobility, 5G is an enabler of a new world.

Gartner often refers to a Nexus of Forces – the convergence of four major tech trends: social interaction, mobility, cloud, and information – as a means of changing our business landscape. Today, we are seeing this convergence first hand. And it needs a network to support it. For example, the influx of mobile devices and applications are measuring heartbeats and monitoring brake pads on trains. This capability is being combined with an influx of data – available in real-time through the cloud.

From a network technology standpoint, 5G will continue to connect these capabilities.  It’s hard to predict exactly how all these pieces will come together, however 5G will be able to provide relevant networking – both over licensed and unlicensed spectrums – independent of people managing that process. With this in mind, 5G will be essential to bringing together people, process, data and things in an Internet of Everything world.

So, what can I do today to prepare for 5G?

I agree with Peter Jarich when he said, “You don’t need to wait until 5G arrives to figure out what you can do with it.”

If you’re a retailer, what does this mean?  How do you start running your business differently?  How do you start using mobility to engage with the customers that come in to your store like any e-commerce experience?

If you are a mobile operator, what does 5G mean for your business? In this new 5G world built on heterogeneous networks, how will your business need to evolve to stay competitive?

Regardless of your industry, the future of mobility – and next generation networks – will require every IT and business leader to redefine, reengineer and recreate business models based on the an infrastructure that is a lot more powerful and more pervasive than it is now.  5G isn’t here yet – but it is never too early to prepare and begin building a strategy.

Future of Mobility Podcast Series: What Do Predictions About 5G Mean For The Future of Mobility? from Cisco Business Insights

How is your business preparing for 5G? Leave a comment below and join the conversation, #FutureOfMobility.

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1 Comments.


  1. Recently I blogged on related reports by Aerohive Networks and LogMeIn. The former concerned the importance of WiFi. The latter concerned the creeping crowdsourcing of IT strategies. It was argued that the trend for crowdsourcing of IT strategies was rooted in the ‘bring your own device’ trend that was enabled by WiFi in the workplace. The topic that was not covered that was of interest to me and related to this article is how ‘bring your own access’ will accelerate that trend. Fast personally controlled mobile Internet connectivity in combination with cloud services can completely circumvent the role of traditional IT services. IT strategists would do well to consider how they will handle this trend. It has already begun with 4G LTE connectivity. I have installed several entirely independent 4G Internet connections and so networks in businesses already. As data prices fall, and coverage and speeds improve, employees are likely to do this for themselves.

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