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Is US business ready for a 5G rollout? – Network World

Is US business ready for a 5G rollout? – Network World

America’s insatiable appetite for snazzy new gadgets and the powerful networks required to run them seems ever growing. It’s only natural, then, that demand for a 5G network capable of keeping pace with tomorrow’s dizzying innovations grows, too. So how prepared is the U.S. for a 5G rollout, and what steps are today’s top companies taking now to profit from the network of the future?

A brief look into the early plans for a nationwide adoption of 5G shows just how much is on the plate when it comes to delivering the next generation of wireless networks. All is not lost, however; handled skillfully, the US can successfully redefine wireless network infrastructure like it has so many times before.

Getting over the speed bumps

Rolling out a successful 5G network is no small feat, and proponents of this ambitious plan have a serious set of obstacles in their path. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of hotspots will need to be created and significantly larger network capacity is needed for this dream to ever become a reality. So how are companies today paving the way for a 5G future?

Verizon, one of the most important players in the tech world, has already made plans to roll out a prototype 5G network in up to 11 American cities. It’s not secret why tech behemoths like Verizon and others are hopping on the 5G train early; smart cities, the IoT, and a plethora of other tech-based innovations which are coming to reshape the world all stand to gain from a widespread adoption of 5G, meaning these tech companies can get better products out more quickly to their consumers.

Some proponents argue that wireless connections can be up to 100 times faster under a 5G network, which is reason enough for companies like Apple or Microsoft to salivate over its potential. In order to make use of 5G’s potential, however, the US will need to seriously transform its currently-limited data trafficking infrastructure. It’s no use to make more data available to everyone at a faster pace if that data can’t be efficiently stored and transferred about.

Plenty of Americans, including a jaw-dropping 60% of rural communities, already lack access to fixed broadband. Until current infrastructure problems like that are solved, investors may have cold-feet when it comes to investing in 5G en masse.

Beyond smartphones

5G, should it successfully be adapted in the coming years, will ultimately shape more than just the phones in your pocket. It stands to unleash a whole new wave of innovation in the fields of virtual reality, drones, and many of the other tech-centric up and comers which are taking the market’s attention by storm.

Governments, too, must involve themselves. At both the national and local level, the implementation of 5G networks will necessitate government oversight for zoning and regulation purposes. 5G’s pathway to mainstream adaption is certainly cluttered with obstacles, yet if it proves as promising as its proponents claim, it may yet take the digital world by storm.

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