How will 5G benefit SMEs?

How will 5G benefit SMEs? [Image: Rawpixel via iStock]

Within the next few years, 5G is going to be deployed around the world. Mobile users will likely be able to download data at speeds 100 times faster than those seen now. There is a great deal of hope for what it will offer both consumers and businesses.

The sorts of benefits it will present businesses with will depend on the nature of the company – what it offers and how it works – as well as the size. Huge multinational enterprises will likely use 5G differently to those with few employees, for example.

5G impact

According to a recent Forbes Insight survey into mobile and wireless connections, ‘The Mobile Industrial Revolution: Anticipating the Impact and Opportunities of 5G Networks on Business’, 67 per cent of executives said they require mobile networks that provide ultra-high throughput.

Some 64 per cent need a massive amount of connections, while 59 per cent said they need ultra-low latency.

Forbes said that, in other words, “what they need is 5G networks”.

The survey also revealed that more than 80 per cent “believe that 5G technologies will have positive effects on multiple areas of their business”. The areas named by those surveyed as likely to see the most benefits were customer experience, service or product quality and worker productivity.

These are all hugely important to SMEs, since providing quality service and ensuring the customer has a positive experience can significantly boost the firm’s reputation. This can then lead to more business and higher revenues.

Mobility

Another way in which the development of 5G will help SMEs is the way it can drive mobility and flexibility. Although this is something that also benefit larger companies, it is particularly useful for firms with fewer employees.

Allowing people to work remotely – but maintain productivity levels – is a huge advantage to smaller companies. Prohibiting people from working from home can result in time being taken off, which then negatively affects productivity and performance. This is more a problem for smaller companies, where each employee is vitally important.

Allowing these workers to do their jobs from their homes – or even further afield – can help reduce the number of sick days and unpaid holiday, which can boost the company’s performance.

Giving employees flexibility in their working can also improve loyalty and ensure that your company is retaining its most talented staff.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to need 5G supporting it to ensure it can actually do what has been talked about for years. Connected cars and devices will all be relying on 5G to deliver on the promises made.

It will provide businesses with ways of monitoring equipment and vehicles in real time, which will improve efficiency and the general running of the business. It can also help business leaders make fast decisions by using the analytical data provided by the various monitoring systems in place.

This means that SMEs and startups will be able to improve their performance and reduce their operational costs. The IoT will help businesses perform better, and 5G will help the IoT to do so.

Smaller companies will be more reliant on any tool and technique to cut costs and boost the performance of both equipment and the employees who use it. The IoT will go hand-in-hand with the deployment of 5G, meaning that 5G will offer real advantages to SMEs.

The only way that businesses will be able to establish all the ways that 5G will benefit them is to actually use the service. When that time comes, SMEs will really be able to enjoy what 5G offers.