As with any new generation of wireless technology, the benefits won’t change the world overnight, but over time, as networks expand availability and technology advances, 5G is poised to improve the way we work, the way we stay connected, and the way we thrive in the business world.

To stay ahead of the curve, businesses of all sizes—including small to medium-sized companies—need to understand the opportunities that 5G presents. Entrepreneurs are taking note and working to leverage the benefits of 5G to improve existing situations or create new opportunities.

For instance, the telehealth industry is quickly evolving with the help of 5G as it helps connect people in rural areas to doctors in other locations via real-time, high quality video. Specialists can also remotely monitor patients from a different state—or country—consulting with local doctors to assist in patient care where they would otherwise not be available.  The construction industry is positioned to see a revolution in the way they work through use of 5G powered robotics and AR/VR to assist on site workers in dangerous work situations, effectively improving safety. The options that have yet to be created with the help of 5G are limitless.

Another perfect example of how 5G is helping others innovate today, is that of small business owner Kai Frazier, former teacher and founder of Kai XR. A new start-up business, Kai XR blends Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to provide a 360o platform to help kids learn and explore beyond the classroom walls. As a result of the public-school budget cuts in the D.C. area, the museum field trips were eliminated. Unwilling to give up this enrichment opportunity for her students, Kai conducted research and teamed with T-Mobile® Accelerator Spring 2021 Immersive Technology Program and built a 5G immersive technology from holographic communications to 3D storytelling. This program is now underway. 

The larger capacity and faster speeds of 5G that bring the lower latency benefits provide a huge opportunity for organizations to develop innovative ideas, new products, and services, and new business models. But not only can 5G give innovation a boost, it can help businesses with the way they work—and the way they serve their customers. Let’s look at just five of the benefits you should be aware of when it comes to 5G.

1. Enhanced customer experiences

5G is designed to be dramatically faster than 4G. A video download that takes minutes with 4G takes just seconds with 5G. This kind of performance can transform the customer experience.

Media files will stream rapidly with virtually no lag time. In meetings, virtual reality and other advanced capabilities could become the norm for presentations. Immersive augmented and virtual reality experiences would allow you to show customers, investors, and others your new product, enabling them to view it virtually, from any angle. Or you might leverage your customers’ smart home environment to develop new services and applications that make full use of all the data that surrounds them.

Interacting with customers would be taken to the next level. For example, retailers could allow customers to try on the latest styles, virtually. Customers could walk through your manufacturing processes without being on-site. Some of these things are already being done with 4G, but 5G will make them better and more available to a larger population and to any company with a creative, customer-focused idea—and might even make growing your small business easier.

2. Improved sales training and on the job feedback

With a higher-bandwidth connection to the office and to customers, plus the power to use augmented or virtual reality to deliver a more immersive experience, 5G can enhance your sales team’s performance.

On the employee training side, one benefit of 5G is that these new ways of communicating make it possible to train people in exciting new ways. With augmented reality, for example, you can enhance on-the-job training by providing the ongoing input employees need to do the job better as they adapt to their new role.

Technicians can use the live feed that an augmented reality application provides to view contextual diagrams as they work on a machine. Or they could receive on the spot guidance from their manager as they work. The increased efficiency in real time feedback alone is extremely valuable.

The business cases for virtual and augmented reality continue to grow, but they will only be possible with a technology that can guarantee high-definition content, at a high frame rate, without perceptible delay. 5G has the power to deliver wirelessly and well beyond where Wi-Fi networks can support. This will enable even the most sophisticated virtual reality headsets to be truly mobile.

3. Increased employee productivity

5G not only has the potential to create entirely new ways to work, but it may even make growing your small business easier. Some businesses are already leveraging 5G devices and 5G networks to gain powerful, low-latency connections to the cloud, so the devices themselves may not have to do as much computing. This, in turn, makes it possible to use devices that are virtually no more than a screen and a battery with a high-bandwidth connection to the cloud.

Your business could then provide employees with low-power devices running powerful analytics to deliver enhanced services or use augmented reality to streamline warehouse management and operations.

Another such example is how 5G can help streamline communications and maintenance across the supply chain. 5G will enable the use of AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality) technologies that will in turn provide support on the road. VR could help a mechanic assist a driver that is stalled out in the middle of nowhere with some basic repairs to get their truck back on the road and safely on their way rather than having to wait for roadside assistance which could take hours—or even days. And 5G could help provide better visibility of goods while in transit—one of the biggest challenges in the transportation industry today.

4. 5G connects virtually everything

The Internet of Things (IoT) gives businesses the power to use new data and devices to accomplish more—whether it’s automating alerts to building superintendents when systems need maintenance, or tracking every item shipped from a warehouse in real time.

The vision for 5G is that it could support an IoT that isn’t just collecting data and sending alerts but automating actions in response to that data. An agricultural operation could, for instance, use low-power sensors to track the health of their crops and trigger automated actions—such as calibrating irrigation or fertilization—based on specific conditions.

From efficiently managing production remotely, monitoring warehouse inventories, and expediting deliveries to customers, 5G-powered IoT will one day help small businesses and large organizations solve problems and connect with their customers in new ways.

5. Potential for new business opportunities

New technology and new ideas go hand-in-hand. And as 5G continues to gain adoption, more small businesses will begin to experience just how powerful a technology it can be. Some industries are moving toward adopting 5G technologies more quickly; take healthcare as an example. With connected physical monitors that can handle ever-increasing volumes of data and leverage artificial intelligence to identify the early stages of illness, medical professionals can provide more proactive, lifesaving care. And with the ability to add a sense of touch or feel to technology, it will one day enable remote surgery and other skilled remote work.

5G continues to open the door to new business models, new products, and new services. 5G-enabled IoT + edge computing + AI = faster data capture, analysis, and business insight to improve operations, customer and employee experience, supply chain and more. And the ability to collect more data, more quickly, and put it to work for your business and your customers is one of primary benefits of 5G for businesses of every size—and may even be the genesis for a transformation of your business model.

T-Mobile for Business has America’s largest, fastest, and now according to umlaut most reliable network with the widest coverage of any carrier covering more than 90 percent of Americans in all 50 states. Come check out T-Mobile’s 5G coverage or call one of our 5G Business Experts at 855-621-3231 and let us help you move up to the 5G experience today.

Capable device required; coverage not available in some areas. Some uses may require certain plan or feature; see T-Mobile.com. Most Reliable: According to an audit report conducted by independent third party umlaut containing crowdsourced data for user experience collected from January to July 2021. Full details at: www.umlaut.com/en/benchmarking/USAFastest: ​Based on​ average, overall combined 5G speeds according to Opensignal Awards –  USA: 5G User Experience Report July 2021​, from independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period March 16 – June 13, 2021 © 2021 Opensignal Limited.​