At CES 2021, Verizon touts 5G connectivity as enabler in pandemic times
5G connectivity has continued to gather steam in technology circles and was the focus at the CES 2021 show this week.
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg delivered a keynote at CES, saying that 5G connectivity is “more than just another tech innovation.”
But ample question remains about when 5G technology will truly deliver on its promise for enterprises.
5G connectivity is due to increase network speeds and performance, with speed increases of up to 1oo times that of 4G networks. Improvements in network speed and performance become increasingly important for data-intensive tasks such as video streaming, autonomous cars and real-time data processing.
But the reality is that 5G connectivity’s true enterprise benefits are still a few years away. Providers must still build the fiber infrastructure (thousands of cell towers, antennas and more) to enable high-speed connectivity and low latency, and many mobile devices are not yet 5G enabled. As a result, many infrastructure build-outs will take several years to develop, and most experts view 5G as aspirational, not present-day reality.
“5G holds promise for the enterprise, but only in specific use cases in the near term,” said Tim Crawford, a CIO and strategic advisor at AVOA, in a 2020 piece on 5G as a still-aspirational goal.
“While it is getting a lot of buzz right now, the practicality is that it needs time to deploy and normalize before the enterprise is able to leverage it. In the meantime, specific use cases may drive early adoption in places where alternatives are either not practical or possible,” Crawford said.
With the advent of COVID-19, Vestberg noted, the need for solid network performance and always-on connectivity became more than a nice-to-have as key activities became digital rather than face to face.
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