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Everything Businesses Need to Know About 5G

5G has been available since 2019, and it’s estimated the number of 5G smartphone subscriptions worldwide will hit over $2 billion by the end of 2024. Even with these staggering adoption statistics, not all businesses understand the advantages and disadvantages of 5G. In this article, we’ll break down everything businesses need to know about 5G.

What Is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks, continuing a new wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. Companies began deploying it in 2019 thanks to improved performance capacity, faster upload and download speeds, lower latency, and a unified platform. 5G promises significant benefits for businesses and consumers alike, and between 93% and 98% of consumers are even intrigued enough to believe it’s “highly appealing.” For industries like manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, finance, and energy utilities, 5G connectivity brings the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) – emerging technologies that can be optimized with the performance capability and computing power of 5G.

The Benefits of 5G vs. 4G

The new generation of 5G wireless is replacing its predecessor, 4G, which made initial smartphones, wearable devices, smart home technology, and other gadgets accessible and user-friendly for the average individual. Compared to 4G, 5G offers some significant benefits, including:

Increased Speed

5G offers a significant speed increase over 4G connectivity, as it can reach data transfer speeds of 20 gigabits per second (Gbps). Compared to the maximum speed of 4G, which is 150 megabits per second (Mbps), 5G feels lightning fast. For businesses, this significant increase in speed is critical for real-time connectivity in technology like autonomous vehicles or logistics platforms. 5G uses edge computing to break out the workload of large data sets, and it leverages localized connections to endpoint devices.

Performance Capacity

5G brings a significant improvement to performance capacity, allowing for a 100x increase in traffic capacity. Again, this becomes critically important when IoT and AI-powered technologies come into play, requiring a high level of computational power and real-time connectivity. Not only does performance capacity improve, but network connections also become more stable and reliable.

Lower Latency

5G can decrease latency – also known as lag time or network delays – by 10x, bringing it down to just one millisecond. High latency causes slowdowns and lag, making lower latency core to a better user experience. In comparison, 4G lag can be over 60 milliseconds.

Improved Spectrum Usage

The spectrum for 5G services is divided into three separate bands (low, mid, and high), each with its own unique functions and abilities. By making use of the entire spectrum, businesses can optimize their traffic according to the transmission range and surrounding conditions. Even from the lowest levels of below 1 GHz to large millimeter waves, improved spectrum usage helps with resource allocation and potential traffic and network congestion.

Improved Network Slicing

For businesses deploying sophisticated network architecture, network “slicing” creates multiple virtual networks that are operated separately but with the same underlying physical network infrastructure. This provides greater flexibility in usage and creates a honeycomb of isolated end-to-end networks for increased cybersecurity. With 5G powering network slicing, it generates bandwidth and makes the complexity of multiple virtual and independent networks possible.

What Are the Disadvantages of Investing in 5G?

While 5G offers exciting benefits and promises for the future, businesses should be aware of its potential challenges and disadvantages, too. Potential obstacles to 5G implementation include increased costs, potential cybersecurity risks, and challenges around network splicing.


5G is both expensive and time-consuming to implement. Businesses must be prepared to upgrade all their equipment, services, and functionality to a 5G-capable network. For businesses that have heavily invested in 4G, replacing hardware and equipment and upskilling employees makes it more challenging to argue for a move to 5G.

Potential Cybersecurity Risks

Although 5G’s algorithms offer greater coverage compared to previous technologies, the risk of cyberattacks remains. While applications on 5G networks are encrypted, the 5G NR standard lacks end-to-end encryption, making it susceptible to specific types of attacks.

Network Slicing

While network splicing is an advantage, it’s also a potential disadvantage. Cybercriminals and hackers could break into specific segmented networks and send malware or spyware to the rest of the infrastructure.

Coverage Gaps

While 5G is becoming widespread in metropolitan and urban areas, 5G connectivity hasn’t reached every corner of the globe. Many rural areas lack 5G coverage, meaning it may not be an option for some organizations.

Is 5G Worth the Investment?

For businesses considering investing in 5G, consider your budget, needs, and long-term goals. 5G is a hefty and time-consuming implementation commitment and most likely requires an infrastructure overhaul. Plus, there are potential cybersecurity risks and coverage gaps. If you are a local business that operates in a rural area, you might not have access to 5G coverage. Each business should weigh the pros and cons and the potential cost of investment before deciding to jump headfirst. 4G is still an incredibly reliable option, but a future dominated by 5G is also inevitable.

Use TPx’s 5G Connectivity Through SD-WAN

For businesses ready to implement and deploy 5G, TPx’s SD-WAN services provide an optimal delivery path for all traffic within your network. 5G connectivity is included, and talking with our experts can help you get on the path to the right strategy. Ready to get started? Get in touch with our experts.

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