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20 Jan 2020

How 5G Will Impact Workplace Communication

5G, the fifth generation of mobile networks, has already begun to be rolled out across major cities in the UK as well as globally. It is set to bring about significant improvements in speed, capacity and connectivity to the world over its predecessor 4G, with some estimates showing speeds up to 100x faster than previous. To give you an idea, 5G will allow you to download a 2-hour movie in less than 4 seconds.  

And whilst consumers have high hopes for 5G, what impact could it have on businesses, particularly with regards to workforce communication and collaboration?
 

More Remote Working

With 5G bringing significantly stronger connections to devices and the internet, more opportunities for remote working will emerge as latency (the time it takes for data to be transferred) will be reduced to mere milliseconds. This means that 5G will enable people and devices to be connected to each other with almost no lag or connection errors. 

Today, there are things you simply cannot do outside the wired office because the response times are simply too slow,” Buck Bard, innovation coach at Canary Works.
Connecting with your team will be seamless, and the need for businesses to have a strong physical presence could be reduced. This will save businesses costs on rent, furniture, fixtures and more. Research has also shown that remote working has positive impacts on productivity, you can read more here.
 

Better Team Collaboration

5G will also open up new avenues for workplace collaboration, with a whole range of technologies set to be enabled by the new network. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are already propelling the ‘digital workplace’ forward, enabling virtual reality meeting rooms to be created which allow colleagues to see each other in real-time using VR headsets, mimicking real-life meetings. Just last year, Vodafone demonstrated the worlds first holographic call, which could see major adoption for businesses.


 

With regards to collaboration, 5G could enable co-working on large (data-heavy) projects such as HD Video Editing, enable training to be carried out remotely using VR, and also enable devices to be controlled from afar. For example, thanks to 5G, surgeons can now assist with or even perform surgeries from thousands of miles away, by controlling the equipment operating on the patient. With the connection latency reduced to just 2 milliseconds (as opposed to up to 2 seconds previously), these operations can be carried out safely and effectively.

In conclusion, 5G could shake up the way we work by making it easier to work remotely and enabling new technologies such as VR and AR to transform work meetings and collaboration.
 

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