The first release of commercial 5G smartphones are already with us such as the Samsung S20 and by 2023, there will be at least 1 billion 5G subscriptions, accounting for around 20% of the entire mobile data traffic across the glove. Will the fifth generation of wireless connectivity prove to be a major boom for the cloud market or is it primed to be the cloud’s demise?
Whilst the UK is still taking its time playing catch up (thanks in no small part to the Huawei security scandal in 2019), However, in the US the fifth generation is already here and established.
The mobile giant Verizon rolled out its 5G wireless services in four US cities last year and revealed speeds around 20 times faster than the current standard). This gives the ability to download a high-def file in seconds instead of minutes; for businesses, it means a lot more. On whatever side of the argument we might find ourselves, 5G is going to make a significant mark on the digital landscape in 2020 and will bring with it unprecedented speed and reliability - up to 100 gigabits per second per device and latency as low as 1 millisecond. Many IT professionals and businesses are already laying the foundations and preparing for the roll out, but what does that actually mean?Regardless of the size of your business, it most likely utilises cloud computing services such as Dropbox and Office 365 either operationally or for its customer offerings (more likely both in one package-). Through increased data speed, all services will be faster and more efficient – from communications services to mobile banking apps and mobile printing. The lower latency of 5G will also mean new business models can open around it, including more elaborate IoT platforms and even remote robotics. On a more immediate level, services that were once ‘watered down’ to facilitate the slower speeds of 4G will finally be allowed to realise their full potential.
On paper, this all looks positive, but some industry insiders are predicting that, whilst 5G networks will initially make it easier for devices to communicate in real-time with centralised cloud-computing networks, in the long-term, those same networks have the potential to essentially eliminate the cloud as a computing platform.
The main 5G issue for data centres across the globe is making sure they have the large capacity to hold and process all of the faster and denser streams of data that will be flowing in. Of course, analysts differ on the timing and scope of 5G adoption in the UK, but the consensus seems to be that the true trickle will begin at the tail end of 2019 beginning of 2020 – this is predicted to be the norm by 2022. Smaller edge computing data centres will obviously play a role, as the closer the data is to where it is being processed - the faster and more efficient the transmission and computing of that data will be. However, 5G network speeds mean more capacity is required and that the cloud services and network architecture already in place are optimised to handle all this new data. It also means ensuring that data centres are stocked with the best next-generation networking equipment.
Ultimately, 5G internet is not ground-breaking technology - it is more of an evolution than a revolution. That means it should be that much easier for businesses to adapt to its requirements and if they do, we all stand to benefit as the end user and as a business. Rural areas that previously wouldn’t have been able to consider the cloud might finally be encouraged to come on board, businesses will be able to access the cloud and its features quickly and reliably from wherever they are in the world and widespread access to virtual machines will lead to a rise in flexible remote working. It is a promises future in technology, and 5G and the cloud are both sitting comfortably at its immediate centre, so anyone involved in the value chain that hasn’t prepared accordingly might have some serious catching up to do in this fast growing industry.
As a data centre provider offering both consultancy and construction services, Infiniti can help offer
guidance and support on the best options for your business.