With 4G becoming ubiquitous, what comes next in the race for high speed data transfers and futuristic gadgets? Talk of 5G has been growing over the past couple of years. Unlike past generations of networks, though, 5G promises to be a real game changer. It will usher in a high-tech new world where appliances can talk to one another and driverless cars could actually become a reality. Data transfer rates will be so much faster than what we experience today that everyday devices we use now will seem like completely different technology. But what will this mean for business owners and consumers? Here are a few ways that 5G will change the way we all conduct business.

What is 5G?

To get started, it’s helpful to take a look at what 5G is. According to the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance, it’s defined as a network supporting data rates greater than tens of megabits per second for tens of thousands of simultaneous users. It would be able to connect hundreds of thousands of sensors to the Internet at once, with 1,000 times greater capacity than 4G. Companies like Ericsson and Nokia Networks have already been hard at work on the prototypes, and many companies are heavily investing in rolling out 5G in trial areas. It’s important to note though that at the moment this is all conceptual – although 5G has been defined it hasn’t yet been implemented in actuality so the following benefits are still just theoretical!

Benefits for Consumers

If 5G does take off,  it will change the way we do business transactions. The world will become more connected as a result of this technology, with cars, appliances, and wearable devices all communicating with one another. 5G is the network that will provide the capacity needed for this type of technology to leap forward. This could change the way we shop – wearable devices can keep track of your interests and communicate with retailers for a smoother virtual shopping experience, for example.

Benefits for Small Businesses

One of the biggest benefits of 5G from a business standpoint is its ability to support far more devices at a single time than even today’s superfast 4G. This would potentially help enable businesses to move completely to the cloud, with more reliable connection speeds and wireless offices. You wouldn’t have to worry as much about networks becoming overloaded, which is useful for eCommerce businesses or retailers reliant on high periods of traffic. It would be easier to target large groups of customers at once using interconnected neighborhoods, targeting ads to consumers based on their interests and even where they frequent.

Challenges to Overcome

So how long will it take until we actually see any of these benefits come to life? Well, it could take quite some time! Some countries, like South Korea, have exhibited a high enough demand for faster service speeds that there’s a high demand for 5G trials. It’s likely that we’ll see 5G arrive at different times depending on the region you live in – which is important to recognize if you do business internationally. The year 2020 is a target that’s frequently discussed, but there’s no hard and fast answer to this question, because the infrastructure must be laid in place first. The one thing to realize is that when it does happen, 5G will lead to increasingly clever devices and a more connected business infrastructure worldwide.