The possibilities and benefits of 5G
Understanding the benefits associated with 5G technology gives companies the ability to make informed decisions around transforming their networks. As the future of work increasingly focuses on mobile devices, 5G offers many benefits to enterprises.
Download speed is one indicator of network speed, focusing on how quickly images or files get to a device. To get the best speed capabilities, 5G networks that use millimeter-wave (mmWave) technology can leverage the high end of the wireless spectrum. While these might be less reliable over long distances, they come with download speeds anywhere between 1 and 10 gigabytes per second (Gbps). Meanwhile, 4G speeds typically fall in the range of 12-40 megabytes per second (Mbps).
Latency, another network speed indicator, focuses on how much time it takes to send a request and receive a response. For the enterprise, this means the amount of time that it takes for a mobile device to send a request to an application and receive a response. Where 4G networks have latency of 30 milliseconds (ms) to 70ms, 5G networks generally fall in the 5ms to 20ms range.
If a network is high latency, it can undermine the high download speeds. When the request takes a long time to travel from device to source, then back to device, it no longer matters how fast the download speeds are.
As companies adopt more IoT devices, device density becomes increasingly important to productivity and efficiency. Device density refers to the number of connected devices per square kilometer that a network can handle at once. A 4G network can handle an average of 100,000 devices in a square kilometer, including smartphones, vehicles, Industrial IoT (IIoT), and critical infrastructure sensors.
Meanwhile, a 5G network can manage up to 1 million devices at the same time. From an enterprise perspective, this helps to ensure that a wide array of IoT devices connected in a given geographic area will not impact the devices’ connectivity.
A central built-in security feature for 5G is the same network slicing that enables enhanced traffic routing. Since 5G can separate consumer and enterprise network traffic, it enables wireless network segmentation based on use and component.
Additionally, when compared to previous generations, 5G also adds enhanced encryption capabilities and identity security. While it uses most of the same encryption features as the 4G system, it also adds some additional capabilities like basing key derivation on the HMAC-SHA-256, an encryption methodology for enhanced message integrity and authenticity.