While the dawn of 5G, or fifth-generation cellular networks, has been awaited for years, we are now on the cusp of it becoming the primary data provider, usurping its 4G predecessor. While 5G is currently only housed to its full capacity in large cities across the globe, weaker versions of it are readily becoming available in rural regions as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with 5G, it is the newest mobile network that will soon power your phone’s non-WIFI internet access. Differentiating 5G from its antecedents is its super-high-frequency airwaves which are capable of transmitting more data quicker and with less latency. That said, 5G is not without its faults, notably: transmission towers have far less range than their 4G counterparts, resulting in the need for more physical infrastructure if it wants to accommodate larger areas. The lack of range 5G towers provide is one of the primary reasons that 5G is only accessible in large cities, as providers are giving dense population centers priority. To put it simply, 5G allows users to download and send content upwards of 10 to 20 times quicker than existing networks where available.
The larger effects of this transition will be gradual for two primary reasons. Namely, 5G providers require time and resources to spread 5G to rural communities and users will need to replace their older phones to current models capable of utilizing 5G. In the meantime, we as individuals have no need to prepare; instead, simply wait and reap the benefits of improved connection once it becomes available.
Companies, however, ought to preemptively prepare their data storage and management systems as the introduction of 5G may overwhelm their existing strategies. It may seem with 5G only directly affecting mobile use, that its effects on corporations will be limited, which may be true for brick and mortar companies that do not utilize the mobile space, however, many companies in some way or another rely on cell waves. Uses of mobile data range from tracking your driving habits, receiving an email survey to gauge your satisfaction immediately after a purchase, online shopping, to the innocuous email sent from a mobile device. Moreover, 5G is deployed in devices far less ubiquitous as cell phones, such as to power AI learning or communications with unmanned machinery.
Depending on the company's dependency on cell data, they should shift accordingly, as with the benefits of 5G (increased speed and volume of data transmission) will come additional stress to data ingestion, aggregation, and archiving processes as they attempt to handle the wealth of data at equal speed. That said, there are numerous proactive changes to data governance policies that could abate the strain of increased mobile capacities, such as: ensuring data singularity, reducing existing R.O.T., prioritizing important data in ingestion, virtually merging “silo-ed” information, and ensuring all data management policies are uniform across platforms.
5G will revolutionize data transmission by decreasing latency and increasing transmission speeds; accordingly, our systems for managing data needs to evolve as well to accommodate these improvements.