OPINION: When will we see 5G for business?

I’m very excited about 5G. It’s the technology that will give cell phones ridiculously fast data speeds. It will bring wireless internet into the home and I think it will just destroy wired internet. 5G brings a lot of benefits to it, and so it’s natural for businesses to want to get in on the action.

How can a business benefit from 5G?

In the future, businesses will benefit from 5G the same way that home users will. Today’s business users can get 1000Mbps speeds if they pay enough. That’s the speed that 5G promises for everyone. However, business users pay through the nose for that speed. Business internet is always more expensive than home internet, because in the past it was more expensive to wire an industrial park than a subdivision. The cost was higher because there weren’t going to be as many customers per square mile.

5G should really cut the cost of high-speed internet for business customers. Eventually, everyone will be using 5G, so the cell towers that serve people’s phones will also serve businesses. It should actually be easier to get multiple cell towers in place in an industrial area. Homeowners are pretty picky about putting big cell towers in their neighborhoods, while industrial parks seem to have no problem with it. So that means it’s possible that businesses could get 5G before home users.

But… when?

That’s the big question of course. AT&T is still on track to light up a dozen cities with 5G mobile service by the end of 2018. I would expect them to continue the rollout throughout 2019, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see full implementation by late 2020. This would include “fixed wireless” installs like homes and businesses, where a large antenna on the roof serves internet to the whole building.

I don’t think there’s really going to be a way to get things to move any faster, but at least there’s a roadmap. I’m mostly guessing — I’ll completely admit that — but at least from where I sit the future is looking awfully bright in the next couple of years.

In the meantime, if you want the best business internet, give the folks at Signal Connect a call at 866.726.4182.