The enthusiasm surround 5G technology is rivaled by few other up and coming innovations. In part, because the benefits of 5G are not all that far off. These include very low latency and the ability to connect with many other devices with smooth integrations. The potential of the internet of things (IoT) for example, is significantly amplified when paired with 5G.
When fully deployed, 5G technology is capable of 20Gps of data between screens and devices. That is 100 times faster than 4G, and 10 times faster than broadband. Viewing high definition video with more bandwidth than ever serves a huge variety of applications. It’s coming, and sooner than you may expect. Predictions point to 2020 for largescale 5G technology deployment.
One of the best parts of all the good news surrounding 5G technology is that it will be built right into the next gen laptop, allowing HD video conferencing from anywhere in higher quality.
Choose Your Backbone: 1Gb or 10Gb
For those excited by the bounty 5G technology promises, the first decision to consider is what sort of network preparations to put in place: 1Gb or 10Gb. The answer most likely comes down to dollars and cents. Enterprises with the ability to truly futureproof with a 10Gb backbone will benefit from simpler commissioning, administration and support. The infrastructure investment is considerable though, with non-blocking switches required at the 10Gb endpoints. Meanwhile, starting with 1Gb will provide similar video quality, although, capacity will be more restrained.
When considering the right investment, it’s worth noting that many companies are already preparing to take advantage of 5G technology in the near future. Apart from being built directly into laptops, Dish Network is investing $20 billion to own more of the cellular network spectrum than major wireless providers like Verizon and AT&T. The CTO of Dish has stated the aspiration to be known for its connectivity solutions instead of its traditional role in the satellite domain.
5G Technology Security and Other Potential Risks
One challenge to sort through with 5G technology pertains to data security. A LAN is always going to be more secure than any data network, and 5G is no different. Depending on the market, determining what kind of data is shared over the network will be an important part of the technology roadmap.
The other potential obstacle pertains to reliability and coverage of the 5G network. In remote areas or within large urban structures where service can be temperamental or nonexistent, the benefits of 5G technology will be more limited. Accommodations for cellular network boosting will need to be made in infrastructure budgets.
The Sweet Spot for AV with 5G Technology
The benefits of 5G technology in audio visual applications are most immediately relevant for digital signage. Brands will be further empowered to target content to specific people with facial recognition and geofencing. Legrand technology evangelist Joe Cornwall aptly describes this potential: “If I can have a digital signage system such that it recognized your cellphone because you were a student on my campus, and you walked by that particular device, that very, very fast network could do a few things: it could recognize your cellphone and therefore you; it could call up specific videos, images, and advertising based on your social media profile, and give you a very personalized experience in terms of information communications.”
As virtual reality becomes more mainstream, the ability to hold meetings in this environment will follow. The advent of 5G technology will help these meetings occur as easily as any video conference.
While 5G technology isn’t quite ready for the masses, it’s not far from reality. It’s certainly close enough to start building a game plan for a faster, more interconnected means of digital communications.