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A New Generation of Innovation

As the world braces for the release of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile network to address bandwidth capabilities, speed, and overall data transfer across the globe, enterprises are preparing avenues to provide a richer set of data that can be used in new ways.

Users of 5G will experience an improvement of connectivity, lower latency, and higher speeds for viewing and downloads. But what benefits does 5G deliver to the security industry and cloud-based services in general?

First, 5G helps address the “last mile,” a common phrase that describes the weakest link in digital data delivery. It is often used to describe the last leg of both physical and wireless infrastructure that brings technological advances to a user.

Regardless of how much is invested in fast servers and other hardware, last-mile connectivity is a linchpin in new and innovative services that rely on the Internet to provide superior service. The 5G network improves on current 3G and 4G standards in the speed and efficiency of how data is collected and transmitted to and from a server. When the server is cloud-based, the data being transmitted can get there more quickly and more efficiently.

Another benefit is that 5G can reduce the latency of data transmission, which is the time it takes devices to communicate with each other. Markets such as smart cities and transit systems, where real-time information can be critical, are poised to benefit significantly as the last-mile connectivity and higher bandwidth applications improve with the rollout of 5G.

For example, the added bandwidth will allow utility companies to more quickly identify and track energy usage remotely while maintaining a steady flow of incoming information for outages. Intelligent sensors communicating via the 5G network might also be able to keep public works officials in the loop in real time on whether streetlamps are out or drains are overflowing. The possibilities for faster information sharing are virtually endless.

Although 5G does offer advancements, there are some hurdles to overcome. Intelligent sensors can communicate with each other now, but they consume a significant amount of space on existing providers’ networks—limiting the available paths for phones or other critical infrastructure.

And providers are only just beginning to roll out 5G in major cities. With the operating frequency in the 5/6Ghz range that is already crowded, performance of the Internet of Things (IoT) may take a hit—especially those using chipsets that are not at their most efficient.

Also, for more densely populated areas, 5G can offer a necessary reprieve from slowing data speeds that have plagued 4G frequencies. However, there are still several issues surrounding the rollout of technology—including that 5G does not address the problems of delivering services to customers in remote areas where coverage is limited to nonexistent for 4G wireless connectivity.

Ultimately, the most significant way 5G is set to benefit the cloud is through the advancement of Internet services and the ability for users to access and transmit data quickly and efficiently. As cloud service providers work toward meeting the demand of their customers, 5G might open up a world of possibilities for speed and reliability that can better serve customers across a variety of markets.

Ben Rowe is the cloud and security architect at Arcules.