There’s a lot of hype around the next “G” generation of mobile networks. Recently, Verizon announced a key milestone in the journey to 5G – a new set of standards and protocols. It tells the company’s partners—everyone from smartphone makers to the contractors that maintain its network—exactly what they’ll have to do to build, maintain and offer devices that play well with Verizon’s 5G network.
And while there are a few conflicting reports about the timeline of 5G becoming a reality (despite the FCC’s push last month) on the devices we carry around every day, the announcement feels like the first of many on our trek to the new future of communications in North America. Not only that, but according to an estimate by Chetan Sharma Consulting, spending on 5G equipment will reach $400 billion globally. But for what?
The 5G future is more than just a set of standards for a faster version of the Internet. 5G has the power to completely change the customer experience (both for enterprises and the consumer) forever. It accelerates the impact of some of the hottest technological trends including connected cars, smart homes, AI and robotics, in industries spanning from healthcare to finance to manufacturing and beyond. The ability to transfer information instantaneously is critical, and even life-changing, when it comes to innovations like self-driving cars.
For mobile carriers the focus is on how much data can be stored and pushed through their network ecosystems. Now, there’s a shift in transforming connections through this fifth-generation network with the promise to address the responsiveness and latency issues the industry has tried to solve for years. And while that’s been a major issue facing carriers, rather than focusing solely on corrected buffering issues and accelerated streaming, there’s a broader much more holistic approach to improving the customer experience with the advent of 5G.
That’s not to say that storage won’t still be an issue that carriers need to address. Recent analysis of data from more than 30 million Synchronoss customers revealed over a 10-month period between April 2015 and January 2016, the average amount of user content created and stored per subscriber increased by a staggering 55 percent. With the advancement in 5G, look for video creation and storage to skyrocket. Carriers will need to be more cognizant of the mobile content explosion and the impact it will have on subscribers in order to maintain customer loyalty. Carriers will be expected to support smartphone sales by providing a secure way to move and manage large amount of subscriber data, which will greatly improve the user experience across carrier channels. (My guess is Verizon is well aware that the mobile content explosion is just beginning, considering its acquisitions of AOL and most recently Yahoo!)
At Synchronoss, we’re working with the world’s biggest operators, including AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, Orange and SingTel, to provide their subscribers with an own-branded cloud service that automatically backs up, synchronizes and stores all their personal contacts, content and data, for accessing across a range of different devices.
Verizon’s announcement is likely the first of many from carriers that want to edge ahead of the competition and become the pioneers to this new network. We’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to the possibilities with 5G, and while we’re not entirely sure of the implications this next-gen network will have, it’s a truly exciting time to be a part of the evolution.
So what do you think? Will 5G forever change the customer experience?