First, I wanted to start with a small point, but it is a bit one. The key to this blog post is the word “plan,” as I have stated that it is not a wise move to buy a 5G phone in 2019. Simply, the lack of coverage means that the extra cost of a 5G product is a waste, as you will spend most of your time in 4G coverage anyway.
Businesses of all sizes need to be planning their move to 5G now. This is not just for their smartphones, but many will see a strong return on investment to replace their existing DSL/Cable connection with a 5G connection.
Like anything, there are always things to consider, here are a few:
One single 5G connection, one for every employee or both?
Your business can use 5G devices to either outright replace your existing wired connection in most Small to Medium-sized offices.
It will offer enough bandwidth and low latency to power just about any office, likely at a fraction of the price.
However, you may also want to benefit from a high- speed connection away from the office.
5G devices may also be ideal for your remote employees who need to access corporate-based information from home, a coffee shop or client location. For most businesses, a combination of both types of connections will prove to be the best.
Improved security with 5G? Likely, but not guaranteed
The heading seems to be a bit contradictory, so let me explain. 5G offers a security level that will meet virtually any kind of business or organization, assuming that one minds all precautions. Where the question becomes is if it will improve your security level.
Take that remote salesperson that you have. They may access sensitive information from home, a coffee shop or a client location. If you have taken all of the security precautions and the networks they are using are all equally secure, there may not be much improvement.
However, much public Wi-Fi and home networks are not secure and are prone to hacking/snooping. By forcing all access to your valued data to go across a 5G connection, you can be assured of the security level.
5G gives you a disaster recovery plan included
For years, companies have been using cellular (and sometimes, satellite) connections as a backup if their primary Internet connection was unavailable. By using 5G as the primary (and a 2nd 5G connection as the backup), you have an immediate plan to evacuate a network outage.
Of course, you would need to use SIMs from two different cellular providers, preferably two that do not share the same network infrastructure.
It is not all roses, though
As mentioned many times before, the first issue is that many areas of North America will not see reliable 5G coverage until possibly 2021.
While 4G offers an exceptional level of speed on its own, this may not be enough to do what you need to do.
The other issue is coverage itself, assuming your area has upgraded to 5G. Some buildings do not lend themselves well to cell signals getting through. Think of a Home Depot store- that metal roof does block a lot of signals. Sure, there are in-building enhancement solutions, but you need to take this into account.
Finally, I always think of cellular networks as living organisms that change to adapt to the environment. During a period of heavy use, the dnetwork will adjust, often shrinking in coverage. If you are on a fringe area during low network use, will you receive network signals during busy times?
Here are some guidelines for you to take away:
- If your office has less than ten people and you have reliable 5G coverage, make a move to 5G today. The only caveat here is that you will want to check on rate plans to ensure that you don’t get a huge bill shock.
- If you have remote employees accessing corporate-based information, you should be planning on moving them to 5G in 2020/2021. You may do so sooner if 4G speeds will be sufficient for them to do their work.
About the previous point, if 4G is sufficient, don’t spend the money on 5G.
- 4G hardware is much less costly.
- All of your existing network routing gear will work with a 5G connection with little exceptions.
- If in doubt, take a baby step. Talk to your landline provider to see if they have a lower cost plan and make it the backup to your 5G connection.