Drop everything and go 5G…maybe

5G

Seven different comms networks and counting. An example of siloed thinking in action Image: Aqura

5G is a great enabler which can deliver near-fixed line speeds and crazily low latency, but is it something that organisations should be running out to adopt asap?

In keeping up with the latest in digital transformation, 5G references will be encountered everywhere.

Aqura chief operating officer Alan Seery doesn’t think 5G presents an immediate need, but his mantra has remained ‘be ready’.

“5G is a fantastic advance in the global 3GPP standards and the rollout by public mobile carriers is great to see. For enterprises, there’s still some way to go before Private 5G starts broader adoption,” said Seery.

“But being prepared is the approach that enterprises need to be focusing on to best reap the benefits.”

For context, Seery believes that the use cases for high-performance, large area wireless broadband and voice can be adequately met by Private 4G LTE, particularly as there is better availability of spectrum and the ecosystem of devices and network equipment makes adoption far easier, and more realistic.

“Private 4G deployments are just taking off due to the ‘easing’ of spectrum access, particularly in remote areas, which reduces a barrier to adoption,” Seery said.

“And with the 4G LTE device ecosystem highly mature, there are sensors, processes and devices which provide highly cost-effective approaches to connect and gain insight into field operations.”

Keep the focus but start now.

With many organisations moving to capitalise on the opportunities that 5G can bring, it can be a major shift, not only financially but in requiring change to align business processes.

Alan suggests six things organisations should focus on.

  1. Siloed approaches now require rethinking and re-alignment.
  2. Where are you going to manage your data? Design your data flow from the edge to where it needs to reside. Are you going with Edge Compute, or will backhaul to the core and centralised storage be up to the task?
  3. Manage the risk, particularly when you are looking at multi-cloud. Private 4G LTE is very secure, but it’s subject to any gaps once the data hits your WAN.
  4. Look to interoperability and roadmap – vendor lock-in can create new roadblocks and increase cost, time and complexity to achieve outcomes. Leverage the interoperability of Private LTE and engage with partners who get this and have a roadmap to 5G.
  5. Understand what your legacy costs you. This is the foundation of your business case to be able to compare – analyse the Cost of Do Nothing versus Invest.
  6. Start now – digitisation isn’t going away, and change processes take time. Start small if you need to, but have a larger plan which is owned centrally, but engages across the business.

5G is out there, but Private 4GLTE already provides the base to enable organisations start now, learn, evolve processes and people, gain quick wins and then upgrade to 5G when ready.

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