5G’s move to mobile technology – and what it means for enterprise mobility
In case you missed it, 5G is back in the news courtesy of Verizon’s recent announcement and T-Mobile’s multibillion-dollar deal. While we started preparing for these next-generation wireless networks months ago, most of the conversation has centered around broadband connectivity. Until now.
Last December, 3GPP—the organization that oversees global cellular standards—approved 5G New Radio (NR) as the world’s first mobile 5G spectrum. Since then, several network operators have taken massive steps toward making this technology viable on a global scale.
So, what do these recent developments mean for your enterprise’s mobility effort?
If you thought today’s mobile technology was fast, buckle up. Because 5G NR will operate through network bands that have only recently been made available by regulators, expect this traffic-free access to enable skyrocketing data communication speeds. Until now, the upper end of the spectrum 5G NR relies on has been inaccessible due to the expense and accessibility challenges today’s endpoints present.
In a few months, however, everything changes. The world’s first 5G-ready devices will enter the market early 2019—but, like almost any advanced global initiative, the rollout won’t be immediate. Most organizations won’t experience 5G NR connectivity or its benefits until at least a year down the road.
Once 5G NR reaches your organization, employees should experience data speeds that exceed one gigabit per second. In fact, the average mobile network will communicate roughly 20 times faster than current US broadband connectivity. Peak speeds will approach five gigabits per second, demonstrating bandwidth that’s capable of simultaneously streaming more than 50 Netflix movies in 4K quality.
Before that can happen, global technology manufacturers have one primary challenge to overcome: ensuring 5G NR can reliably deliver connectivity to mobile enterprise endpoints. Millimeter waves like the ones leveraged by 5G NR are extremely susceptible to interference—for example, current capabilities can be disrupted simply by moving a device out of line-of-sight of a network transmitter. Fortunately, two innovations may be the answer 5G proponents have been searching for all along.
Beam me up, Scotty
Through a combination of two new techniques, beamforming and beam tracking, mobile endpoint manufacturers can create 5G technologies that are much easier to keep connected. By enabling devices to receive signal beams bounced off surfaces at precise angles after leaving a network transmitter (a.k.a. beamforming), users’ smartphones, tablets, and other connected endpoints are much more likely to maintain consistent 5G data speeds.
As that’s happening, employee technologies will leverage beam tracking to not only uncover multiple signal beams, but to determine which one is in-range and offers the most stable, secure connection. In fact, some global leaders like Qualcomm are already building multiple antenna array locations into endpoints to track the hundreds or thousands of potential signals these technologies will likely encounter in the future. That way, someone’s hand can’t possibly cover up every signal receiver whenever he or she is using the device.
So, is your organization ready for 5G mobile connectivity? If your mobility management program could use a few strategy tips first, talk to one of our enterprise mobility experts today and learn how a software-driven solution can help.
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