5G is in the news a lot these dats. We are inundated with positive predictions of how 5G will change the world. However although 5G offers possibilities not everything is positive because with the arrival of 5G the mobile connection in well insulated buildings would become a bigger problem. And what about WiFi? Is that still relevant in a 5G world?
According to some experts 5G will make WiFi completely unnecessary. However here are a lot of arguments for the scenario of a more hybrid future for 5G and WiFi. For example consider the high costs of the 5G network and the large scale of the necessary infrastructure and device upgrades. The question is whether 5G can deliver solutions to large companies at the same price as WiFi. Another point of attention that has not yet received much attention in the media is that of data ownership.
Data is the basis of many businesses
Every organisation wants to distinguish itself in the digital age. Besides that any business must also continue to meet the expectations of both the market and other stakeholders. Any organisation must provide its target audience with a connected and personalised experience at the right time. Maybe you are still one of the few without concrete plans to actually use the insights obtained from data.
But you will need to realise that we are living in a world that is increasingly driven by data. Data is the basis for analysing, creating and delivering such an experience. But what happens if you turn off your Wi-Fi network and let all your traffic go through a 5G network? Who will own all your valuable data? It might not be you.
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Considerations when opting for 5G
There are four main points to consider for any business that may want to move to 5G connectivity in the future.
- Analytics. Data is not only to be used to improve the customer experience. It can also be used for security analytics. Consider searching for suspicious events on the network such as a device downloading data from an unusual location or at a time when this normally does not happen. Data is also useful for location analytics, for example to map traffic patterns or the use of real estate. All these analytics would not be possible without insight into who is where on the network and what they do there.
- Privacy. With analytics a company wants to have insight into the data while privacy is about the fact that no one else can view data. With a mobile network model you automatically introduce people from outside the company into your data chain. These days it is important for every company wants to store its data in such a way that an outsider has no chance to see it.
- Performance. When switching to 5G connections businesses send their data to an external carrier network, after which it is routed to an internal device. This is a complicated data path that increases the risk of latency problems. Also it becomes more difficult for the company to solve problems. This has the knock-on effect of less productivity and a worse user experience.
- Security. Security is very important to all organisations. Modern businesses are increasingly sophisticated in authenticating users on the network. That means to determine what users have access to, from what location and via what device. Although current mobile systems work with a certain degree of authentication this can never be done as extensively as with WiFi networks. Carrier authentication would add extra steps to requests to change someone’s access or remove someone from the network for example upon termination of employment. These facts all have consequences for the security of a company.
Something to think about before switching to 5G
There is a very positive hype surrounding 5G is currently which creates is a real risk that companies will get carried away. Now that 5G is being rolled out by more and more providers and locations it is advisable to pause and think very carefully about a combined use of 5G and WiFi. The main thing is that control over the data cannot be forgotten.
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