How Will 5G Affect the Cloud?
By Nathan Sykes
The rollout of 5G wireless technologies will transform the entire enterprise and consumer markets. First, it enables enhanced and reliable mobile broadband connections, with huge stores of bandwidth and low-latency support. For obvious reasons, this opens up many new opportunities regarding how the service can be used.
Honestly, it seems like the perfect time for this technology to be making its debut, with the likes of IoT, machine learning, autonomous technologies and robotics, as well as a variety of always-connected services taking precedence.
What does 5G bring to the table? It's not so much what as how much. The changes between 5G and previous wireless generation technologies - such as 4G - are incremental. The substantial boost in network capacity for mobile platforms is the key component. It is the driving force behind all the new opportunities, reliable network instances and even advanced device support.
With 5G, data speeds will increase to 10GBps, compared to the previous generation's 1GBps. Furthermore, latency or the delay in data packet transfers will drop from 50 milliseconds to 1 millisecond with 5G.
Modern Technologies Call for Better Connectivity
An excellent example of how 5G will transform modern industries is the concept of beaconing, or location-based marketing. While not directly related to the cloud and modern remote computing, the technology does certainly rely on such platforms.
Bluetooth and wireless beacons - specifically, those used in retail and marketing - are designed to do several things. First, they transmit a variety of data and information to nearby consumers, who tap into them using a wireless connection. Second, they extract and collect data from those same consumers. Finally, they transmit all facilitated information back to a base server or network.
There's the local transmission aspect - carried out by Bluetooth, obviously - but beacons must also pair with a larger network that has direct access to the Internet. Wi-Fi is a common network connection for them, as are mobile networks. Imagine the vast benefits in performance and support these devices would receive by tapping into a more advanced, more capable 5G connection.
Retailers and marketers could essentially expand their location-based campaigns to include new areas or opportunities that weren't available previously. You don't want to place a beacon in a dead zone or poor signal location, because it would be useless and frustrating for your users.
The Cloud Will Expand
In most cases, that stable, reliable connection is to blame for the stifling of innovation and support. If your cloud or data platform requires additional bandwidth, for instance, the best way to go is through a wired connection. This leaves you, your customers and even your hardware tethered and limited to smaller areas and more confined scenarios.
To expand, cloud technologies need access to more robust and versatile connections, which will arrive with the impending 5G rollout. The expanse of the cloud allows more brands and customers to get onboard with cloud platforms, and to make use of the technology more often. But it also introduces a host of new opportunities in how and where the technologies can be used.
Suddenly, it's possible to store all your local HD-quality videos through a remote storage service. It's also possible to deliver always-on, connected app services to mobile users. Auto downloads and updates for various software applications become a reality. Better content and media streaming opportunities open up, and a multitude of similar functionality becomes available.
Suddenly, edge computing and cloud computing platforms become more accessible to everyone - a welcome benefit, considering where technology is headed in the next decade. Soon, the roadways will be filled with self-driving autonomous vehicles, AI platforms will run stores and customer support teams and mobile devices will tap into always-on, connected experiences. All these things call for a more reliable, more capable mobile network and wireless connection to the Internet.
Every Industry Now Needs Better Connectivity
The consumer market is one of the most common to talk about, but the business and enterprise world is also ramping up modern tech adoption. Manufacturing is one industry that's incorporating IoT sensors and hardware to establish a more capable, efficient factory. Guess what those sensors also require to send and receive all the data they will be handling? If you guessed a wireless connection, well, you're right.
Construction, transportation, retail, marketing, entertainment, customer service, medical and health care - we could continue the list indefinitely. All of these industries and more are adopting modern tech, evolving with the times, and in many ways, they will need cloud and edge computing platforms to make it happen.
You could even say a 5G rollout will not only revolutionize the cloud computing industry, but make it universal, or mainstream.