16 Exciting Changes 5G Will Soon Bring To Business And Consumer Technology

Many consumers think of 5G simply in terms of faster cell or Wi-Fi service. And 5G does promise significant speed upgrades: The FCC says 5G can support download speeds of up to 300 megabits per second, compared to 12 to 36 Mbps for 4G. But what does that really mean in practical terms?

The FCC touts 5G’s “powerful advances in connectivity”—advances tech experts say will revolutionize everything from healthcare to gaming. With the potential to permit connected devices to exchange data nearly instantaneously, 5G may fundamentally change the way we shop, commute, travel, work and play. Below, members of Forbes Technology Council share some exciting ways 5G will soon change business and consumer technology.

1. Immersive Experiences And Stronger Security Controls

5G can drive new, immersive Internet of Things, mobile, home, work, and travel experiences through high-density, high-speed, low-latency performance. 5G network segmenting will enable organizations to offer finely tuned services to consumers and businesses. And 5G brings stronger security and privacy controls at the network level to protect us all. – Brian Reed, NowSecure Mobile

2. An Expansion Of The Metaverse

Consumers will be able to send and receive higher volumes of data—including pictures, videos and so on—with higher reliability and speed. This will augment the current boom in the metaverse. Advances in augmented and virtual realities will enhance industries including gaming, fintech, healthcare and social media. – Sam Swapn Sinha, Strategism Inc

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?

3. Smarter Supply Chain Management

Real-time data is vital to enabling industries such as retail. The pandemic exposed the need for smarter inventory and goods tracking and supply chains, which rely heavily on real-time, connected data. 5G’s enhanced connectivity will underpin richer data movement between suppliers, distributors and retailers, leading to a faster, safer and more convenient purchasing experience for the consumer. – Denis King, Solace

4. Better-Performing Autonomous Vehicles

Low-latency 5G platform rollouts and edge-enabled processing will continue to deliver solutions for many real-world problems. 5G will enhance daily conveniences, such as offering driverless robots the ability to safely deliver medicine, as well as drive efficiency by giving connected vehicles the tools to communicate directly with traffic signals, reducing nonrenewable fuel consumption and wasted time. – Jason Carolan, Flexential

5. Improved Redundancy And Reliability For Business Networks

5G ultimately makes the world a smaller place. It will enable higher-speed communication on more devices with less latency. Additionally, there will be new abilities for organizations to deploy their own “private” 5G infrastructure, allowing cloud applications and infrastructure to behave as if they were more local. This will improve redundancy and reliability while reducing operational costs. – Alexander Hill, Senseye

6. Secure Digital Health Records

5G will change the healthcare ecosystem by permitting new technologies to come to fruition. With 5G, we will witness the complete digitalization of hospitals, as well as telemedicine, virtual medical consultations and remote solutions that will allow for better access to quality healthcare. 5G will do this while adding enhanced security with better HIPAA compliance for your medical records. – Will Conaway, The HCI Group/Tech Mahindra

7. Improved And Enhanced Medical Devices

5G has so many incredible applications that it will truly revolutionize every industry. That said, in my opinion, 5G’s greatest potential is in enabling the Internet of Things and disrupting healthcare. For example, with IoT-connected medical devices, diagnostics and monitoring enabled by lightning-speed 5G, industries such as healthcare will take on a completely new look and feel. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

8. New Capabilities For Smart Appliances

The market for home-based apps that use artificial intelligence is expected to flourish with 5G. With improved speed and low latency, truly “smart” appliances will anticipate your needs. Making a meal for a party? These appliances can identify the ingredients, determine if your fridge is missing something, lay out a schedule for cooking and map out the time it takes to serve everything hot. – Cheri Beranek, Clearfield

9. Virtual Access To Live SMEs

5G will accelerate the availability of IoT devices with greater capabilities for entertainment, education, e-commerce and more. Organizations will be able to deliver more impactful services and experiences to customers—as well as to the field and frontline workers who serve customers—from anywhere, with richer contextual content and access to live subject matter experts via video and virtual, augmented and mixed realities. – Alfredo Ramirez, Vyopta

10. High-End Gaming Across Devices

The big benefit of 5G isn’t increased bandwidth; it’s reduced latency. The killer consumer app for that reduced latency is cloud gaming. 5G will let you play high-end AAA games on your phone that you would normally only be able to play on a $3,000 gamer PC. The game itself is running on a high-end server. On 5G, the lag between your phone, the cloud and the 100 other players playing with you is imperceptible. – Sam Glassenberg, Level Ex

11. Explosion Of The IIoT

5G will have a major impact on the Industrial Internet of Things—the use of IoT devices in industrial sectors. According to Statista, the number of IoT devices worldwide is forecasted to more than double by 2030. Much of that increase will be enabled by the expanded connectivity that 5G networks will provide to industrial applications. – Adi Ekshtain, Amaryllis Payment Solutions

12. Real-Time Inventory Management And Customer Recommendations

5G is not just faster than previous generations. It offers massive machine type communications to support a large number of devices periodically sending data. MMTC will greatly improve product capabilities for smart convenience stores, such as Amazon Go, with real-time abilities for inventory management, customer tracking, recommendations and beyond. – Patrick Zhang, Protecht Inc

13. Next-Gen Customer Engagement

One major reason experts are excited about 5G is that this cutting-edge network technology promises to form the foundation for the next-gen customer experience. CX driven by advanced technologies, such as VR, AR and the metaverse, will become much more accessible and affordable in the near future through 5G, revolutionizing customer engagement strategies for enterprises. – Sayandeb Banerjee, TheMathCompany

14. Extreme Personalization

With 5G, creating hyper-personalized experiences by merging detailed client data with real-time analytics becomes easier. 5G-connected devices generate huge volumes of data and are able to give high-quality insights about customers. Therefore, companies can provide clients with a more personalized experience. 5G isn’t just about fast connection—it collects hyperlocal, granular data, which means better personalization. – Roman Taranov, Ruby Labs

15. Increased Interpersonal Connectivity

While 4G helped consumers reap the apex benefits of their connectivity to the internet, 5G is going to take this a leap forward by reaping the collective insights of everyone’s and everything’s connectivity. Today’s maps tell me I’ll reach Joe in 20 minutes based on traffic; tomorrow’s will prompt us to meet at a gas station 12 minutes away, knowing his car needs an oil change and mine, some fuel! – Pramod Konandur Prabhakar, Pelatro PLC

16. More Realistic AR/VR Experiences

5G is expected to deliver ultra-low latency, which will translate to a better computing experience. That means the lag time between a user’s request and the action of his or her device will be significantly reduced, allowing for more instant gratification. A new kind of “wireless fiber” will likely lead to augmented and virtual reality experiences that are more realistic than ever before. – John Giordani, NCheng LLP