5G expectations vs. reality in Australia

Smarter cities, farms, and factories; seamless computing; fast connectivity everywhere—these are the promises of 5G networks, but getting there comes at a high price.

5G light trails
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5G cellular broadband is arriving with many promises to shake up IT departments, but just like every new technology there comes the hype and the expectation that this new technology will fix everything. And just like every new tech, 5G will likely both fail some of those expectations but also present use cases that had not been considered previously.

Jonathan Restarick, managing director of communications, media, and technology at Accenture Australia, says the consultancy expects the growth on the 5G will be twice as much on business applications as on consumer applications.

“It will be the real excitement of how our businesses will get value from this new technology, not just teenagers doing gaming and entertainment services. It’ll be about how we’re creating new business models and new value chains and those types of things that really improve the productivity and efficiency of business models,” Restarick says.

5G: What it is and where it is in Australia

5G is at its core a radio technology for cellular networks that carries more data more quickly than previous generations, such as the current LTE or 4G technology and its predecessor 3G technology. It’s promised to work as fast as Wi-Fi networks in some locations, though that speed can vary considerably based on the specific 5G variant used, as well as environmental factors such as building materials and other obstacles. As with 4G, 5G can be deployed not only for public networks—the ones our phones run on—but also private networks, such as on oil rigs, in farm land, at work sites, in ports, or in wind or solar farms, for use as a wired broadband replacement for both internet of things (IoT) devices and computers.

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