Over the last few months, we have seen the limited availability of next-generation wireless connectivity slowly benefitting employees nationwide, as workspaces closed, and remote working increased. With the recent Government announcement of almost $25 million to support the transition of small and medium-sized businesses into the digital economy and a further $29.2 million to boost early business access to 5G, we’re set to see Australia as an early mover in the rollout of 5G networks.
It’s important for small businesses to understand the opportunities 5G will unlock in terms of video conferencing applications. 5G will empower web-based conferencing and collaboration tools to perform at a higher level and have greater capacity, meaning flawless transmission of video, audio and data, taking remote collaboration to new heights.
With the changeover to the 5G standard, data transmission rates of up to 10 Gbit/s should be possible. Latency times are expected to be as low as a few milliseconds or even less, making smooth collaboration and video transmission part of everyday life. Best case scenario, small businesses will never experience any fluctuations in volume again.
In addition, 5G raises the mobile communications standard. With enhanced mobile broadband, the increased data transmission rate is an advantage for flexible work models. Employees can leverage the Choose-Your-Own-Device (CYOD) model and use their smartphones or tablets for video conferences while on the move without experiencing the problems we’ve faced over the last few months.
A simple change such as downloading a file under 10 secs, instead of up to 10 minutes or taking a video conference call on the go without dropping in and out is a huge advancement for businesses – allowing higher operational speeds and greater output. The adoption of 5G will also enable small businesses to consider rolling out virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) applications to aid in furthering their remote collaboration strategies while delivering unique customer experiences in some cases.
The advanced capabilities of the 5G network also mean that small businesses can engage with their employees and customers better. The network is more energy-efficient, resulting in greater battery life for devices – meaning more flexibility for employees and an increase in productivity for the business as employees are able to produce work at higher speeds with fewer interruptions.
The increase in employee productivity will see a flow-on effect for customers, providing them with a richer experience with faster response times. The increased capabilities will allow businesses to connect with customers in more creative ways – a good example of this is “co-browsing” in which customer support collaborates with the customer’s browser in real time. 5G will take augmented reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and drones to another level, yet making it a reality for small businesses to set themselves apart with their offering.
5G will allow small businesses to expand confidently with a reliable network while utilising more collaboration tools in their everyday business. With significantly increased ability to connect, engage and revolutionise the way they do business, small businesses will be able to grow and adapt at much faster rates.
Gone are the days of awkward face freezes, audio dropouts and infuriatingly boring presentations as businesses are catapulted into the new digital realm with a plethora of communication and collaboration applications at their fingertips to do business differently. 5G is a true game-changer and will bring ample opportunity to small businesses providing them with greater access to their marketplace.
Lindsay Brown, Vice President – Asia Pacific and Japan, LogMeIn