Anyone who works in or relates in any way to the digital world knows that to us, performance is everything. The innovation achieved through advancements in data transmission speed has transformed the everyday life of people around the world, from the way we get information and access products or manage daily tasks, to the way we manage our health and financial services. Without high-speed mobile technologies, world-changing innovations like the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence wouldn’t be possible, as they require rapid and massive data transmission.
With the arrival of 5G, the next-generation mobile internet, networks are expected to be at least 100 times faster than current 4G networks, and response time (latency) for data transfer is expected to decrease to less than one thousandth of a second. At that speed, it would be possible to download a 2-hour movie in just 3.6 seconds, versus 6 minutes using 4G, or up to 26 hours on a 3G network. In this sense, 5G promises a world of new opportunities, but also demands major changes to business models and the way IT infrastructures are implemented in companies.
The 5G era is coming, and companies can rely on an important ally to help them get the most this technology can provide: interconnection, which is the exchange of private traffic between companies, providing faster, safer connectivity with less latency and greater bandwidth. With the advancement of 5G, this type of platform will allow companies to continually access network and cloud ecosystems, regardless of their size, providing more revenue opportunities. For example, companies specializing in Customer Data Management can provide their customers with the ability to deal with potential issues instantly and get immediate feedback. This is because to achieve continuous 5G connectivity for real-time data transmission, regardless of location, a reliable and affordable connection that can support an ever-increasing volume of data and traffic is essential. The lower the latency and the higher the data delivery speed, the better the network performance and, by extension, the better the customer experience. And a satisfied customer is a company’s best advertising.
Together with interconnection, 5G can significantly transform various sectors. One example is the health care field. Currently, professionals in that area use 4G to access tests and records, such as X-rays, for example. With the arrival of 5G, physicians will be able to remotely monitor patients and collect real-time data using IoT devices, improving personalized and preventive care. In addition, with artificial intelligence and big data, patient data can provide valuable information to help make correct diagnoses and decisions that save lives. It will even be possible to perform remote surgeries and medical procedures, thanks to rapid data transfer speed. The first successful remote surgery was already performed in China using 5G technology. During the test, the reported data transmission time between the physician’s control device and the robot in the operating room was just 0.1 seconds.
Another area that should feel the positive effects of 5G is digital content and media. According to the report “5G Economics: Entertainment“, released by Intel in October 2018, annual mobile media revenues are set to double in the next ten years, reaching $420 billion by 2028 thanks to the new network capabilities the technology has made available. Currently, the growing demand for mobile video streaming is overloading 4G networks, which compromises the service quality. 5G will offer faster, more stable connectivity, enabling content service providers to deliver a superior experience, and create innovative applications that offer a more personalized customer experience.
And how do we fit into this scenario? Well, we believe that 5G networks will evolve in different waves across the globe over the next five years. Countries like the United States, China, South Korea and Japan are markets that will start adopting 5G later this same year, and should reach 90% coverage by 2023, while the rest of the planet, including Brazil, will still have limited access until 2021, with wider coverage beginning after 2026.
It’s also worth noting that the major impetus behind this trend, in addition to large companies, is the gaming market. According to the study“Product Leaders Must Have a Robust 5G Plan to Meet Expectations of End Users,” published by Gartner in December 2018, 59% of large companies are considering using 5G for IoT device communication, while a livecast transmitted by Openwave Mobility and the Mobile Video Industry Council in April 2019 stated that the gaming industry will contribute more than 25% of all 5G traffic by 2022.
Interconnection: the foundation of 5G
In order to meet all this demand, a neutral colocation and interconnection platform allows companies to leverage 5G in order to continually access robust network and cloud ecosystems. It is possible, for example, to access a multitude of network and cloud providers, as well as analytics and big data service providers on the Platform Equinix® through the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™) privately and directly. These technologies will be instrumental in managing the massive amounts of data that 5G networks will provide to businesses.
With real-time, secure, low-latency connectivity, Equinix offers the ideal location for companies to leverage 5G in order to transform their business and ultimately create more revenue opportunities.
Whatever segment you work in, this scenario makes clear that new network architectures will be needed to support full 5G capabilities – including function virtualization, significant increases in physical presence, distributed computing, and interconnection.