There has been much talk about 5G, including polar opposite views as to whether the new leader in mobile data delivery and usage is A. A cancer causing blight on society, or B. A more efficient way to harness the web, significantly improving all 'local businesses near me'. The question each and every business needs to ask is: With so much truths, half truths, and lies out there..do I really need 5G for my business?
Perceived Advantages of 5G
The advocates of 5G say that it will significantly improve many areas of the net, and that progress in this field will benefit what is essentially the future of business, online revenues and growth. They say that 5G will:
Give greater download speeds due to greater bandwidth(up to 10 gigabits per second)
Become the market norm, with around 1.7 billion users by 2025(wikipedia)
Of course, if your modelling is based around the assumption that download speed is essential, then it makes sense to opt in for 5G.
Many web based companies today, and the number is increasing exponentially, would soon become 'techno dinosaurs' if they didn't take advantage of the latest available technology. Companies that require microsecond net speeds, such as trading software et al, would also welcome the innovation with open arms.
But, is 5G established enough already to be a viable option for your business? For instance, would a company such as window cleaning Maroubra feel that the cost of a handset and contract would be offset by the benefits...and availability of the 5G service to it's clients?
5G Availability in Australia
Surprisingly, the rollout of the 5G network in Australia has gone relatively smoothly at this point. Usually rollout of any upgrades, or new services, are met with roadblocks, setbacks, and sometimes even cancellations.
As an example of this, consider how Australia's NBN has progressed. Sure, we do have a functioning NBN network, with the aim of keeping up with other industrialised nations. However, the rollout of the NBN has not been entirely smooth. The overseers of Australia's NBN would likely point to the fact that an upgrade of this type is almost exclusively saddled with bugs that need ironing out...hence why 5G could have sat in a quagmire of inefficiency, but hasn't(relatively).
By June of the year, RCR Wireless projects that Telstra aims to offer the service to 75% of the nation, which is amazing considering that the service is still juvenile in terms of age.
This fact alone shows why, for a large section of the increasingly online business community, accessing 5G should be a priority. However, in our example mentioned earlier, of window cleaners in Maroubra, the step over is much less compelling, why?
At this point, the traditional 'bricks and mortar' style businesses don't require data download speed to function. Yes, as with all businesses, some functions will always be handled online, however those functions are almost completely independent of the need for high download speeds. As an example, say for instance that a business is using 'Quick Books' for it's accounting, invoicing, and taxation preparation. This platform would require a 'stable' download ability for spreadsheets, BAS etc. However, the platform is in no way connected with a need for download 'speed'.
Assuming that traditional businesses don't require 5G at this point, the question is, will they in the future? The answer to that is a likely, yes, why?
Many phones are not able to access 5G...their technology is not at the standard to avail themselves of it. As time goes by, and the standard becomes one where all online platforms are tailored to 5G, many devices that we currently use will become inefficient or even unable to operate smoothly unless it is 5G compatible. Whilst this is not a major issue at this time, time in itself will gradually make this a more telling requirement. So, what should our local window cleaner plan for?
It would be wise for any traditional business to think that whilst they don't necessarily need 5G at this point, that they shouldn't rule out, or take a position against, using it in the future. As mentioned earlier, technological upgrades can be fraught with setbacks, so the time when you will need to change over is not 'set in stone'. Each business must guage their own productivity and requirements, and, when the need becomes apparent, make the change.
The Current State of Play For Traditional Businesses and 5G
If we think about who are the 'local electricians near me', you will likely think about a chap, or lady, who has served many years in an apprenticeship and now drives a van, visiting homes and offices fixing electrical issues. This electrician may have a shop or other office from which they operate, as do most traditional businesses. These businesses may say that they rely on recommendations, foot traffic, or signage for their new business, but is that opinion accurate?
Most traditional businesses used to use a directory such as Yellow Pages for their new business. It was a sizeable, yet rewarding investment for them. They resisted the need to build a website and felf that their 'bottom line' showed the merits of their stance. But, remember, even Yellow Pages has long sinced steered away from emphasizing physical book directories to a more accessible, and efficient, digital presence. For many of their clients, however, they are yet to follow their lead.
This issue rose all the more to the fore during the recent Covid-19 Pandemic. At and during lengthy periods, non-essential shops were shut down. For those who didn't have a digital platform it meant simply ceasing to operate, and relying on government support. For those who had added an e-commerce platform to their physical store, they may even have seen increases in sales!
What is the point that we are trying to make? No commercial venture is failsafe. However, for those who have kept up with technological progress survival has been less pressing an issue. 5G is just the latest rung on the ladder of progress.
The current state of play for traditional businesses is that.upgrading their phone networks to 5G is not essential, and, as mentioned earlier, this is wise. But, remember one thing: Progress is a cruel master. Either you follow the dicates of progress, or you can find your commercial life terminated.
That being said, many traditional businesses are not upgrading to 5G. For those who want to survive in uncertain times, making the change may prove to be a wise investment.
5G Will Likely Be The Future..Will You Be There?