What the 5G revolution means to middle market organizations

As 5G networks expand, new opportunities become available

Apr 24, 2023

Key takeaways

As 5G networks expand, they will emerge as a key element in meeting digital transformation goals. 

The potential business improvements available with 5G networks are extensive and significant.  

Companies must develop a strategy that prioritizes where 5G can make the most impact.

Digital evolution Business optimization Digital transformation Business strategy

5G networks are expanding in North America, bringing the potential for substantial improvements over previous network capabilities. 5G will empower businesses in all industries to create new experiences and connect in inventive ways. As the technology expands, middle market businesses can harness the power of 5G networks to develop new solutions, improve service delivery, increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, meet rising customer expectations, and ultimately gain a competitive advantage.

5G provides faster speeds, high bandwidth, and ultralow latency, alongside improved reliability, privacy, security, and availability. As enterprises innovate to create new revenue streams and reduce costs, 5G, and even private 5G networks, will emerge as an important enabler for meeting digital transformation goals, with the added benefits of mobility.

The return on investment for 5G technology can vary depending on several factors, including the size and type of your business, the industry in which you operate, and the specific use cases for 5G technology.

Some of the potential benefits of 5G technology that could contribute to a positive ROI include:

  • Increased productivity: 5G's faster internet speeds, lower latency, and improved capacity can enable your business to process and transfer data more quickly and efficiently, which could lead to increased productivity.
  • Improved customer service: 5G's low latency and high bandwidth can enable your business to provide improved customer services, such as real-time videoconferencing and faster response times.
  • Cost savings: 5G's improved reliability and consistency of service can lead to cost savings if you rely on mobile connectivity for your operations.
  • New revenue streams: 5G's capabilities, such as providing greater potential for the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation, can enable your business to develop new products and services, which could lead to new revenue streams.
  • Improved employee collaboration and training: 5G's high-speed connectivity enables your business to use virtual and augmented reality technologies, improving employee collaboration and training.
  • Reduced costs: 5G's high-speed connectivity enables your business to access cloud-based applications, services, and storage, which can help reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Enhancements to business operations

Deeper analysis and insight: The improvements available with 5G networks can have a direct impact on the quality of data and can support more effective decision-making. With 5G’s increased speed, low latency, and capacity to push AI, machine learning, real-time analytics, and other advancements deeper into your operations, you can gain more timely and extensive insights and develop metrics that help support your success.

More effective cloud strategies: As businesses adopt new technologies as part of digital transformation initiatives, the cloud has become a foundation and a necessity for enterprises looking to move existing workloads from on-premises servers. 5G cloud services enable your business to achieve cloud goals, including helping to increase employee productivity, reduce operational cost, accelerate time to market, and improve customer satisfaction in addition to exceeding legacy technical requirements such as capacity, service level agreements, storage, and compute power.

The growing number of cloud-based applications with highly rich content accessed from mobile devices creates a gap that translates to a new requirement for businesses: secure, reliable, and high-bandwidth wireless networks. 5G networks help you bridge that cloud and mobility gap to enhance the user experience for these evolving business requirements.

Increased versatility in your network applications: 5G features such as network slicing and service-based architecture allow your business to dedicate different bandwidths across multiple services, while massive machine-type communication, or mMTC, available with 5G, enables networks to support high-density IoT deployments. With wide bandwidth availability and enhanced security features via network slicing and edge computing, 5G is a viable option for your business to connect to various clouds, delivering the specific speed and capacity your systems and applications need.

With the possibilities around 5G network slicing, other emerging solutions are available for your business, such as the ability to set bandwidth and throughput preferences as well as enhance the quality of service/class of service for different applications. These options, alongside the ability to logically partition networks, create new environments that exceed legacy network capabilities.

Access to cutting-edge innovations: Legacy technologies have limited capabilities for some advanced applications, especially high-bandwidth applications like augmented reality and virtual reality or remote-control equipment, supporting teams to experience a mixed reality for more detailed information, accurate diagnosis, and troubleshooting that also requires low- latency networks and high-density sensors.

5G is truly transformational in this aspect, providing high bandwidth with a scalable, secure, cloud-native infrastructure. Your organization can rely on a much more extensive foundation to provide more effective tools and business applications, and a more memorable customer and employee experience.

How to get started

The potential advances available with 5G networks are widespread and significant. However, it is important to develop a strategy that prioritizes the areas of your business and the applications in which 5G will make the most impact and drive the most significant change.

Working with an advisor that understands the depth and capabilities of 5G networking and applications is often an important first step in developing an effective and rightsize 5G strategy. RSM’s 5G team has extensive experience helping middle market businesses take advantage of 5G, providing several key solutions, including system integration, digitization, IoT solutions, private 5G networks, and network maintenance.

RSM contributors

  • Manu Singh

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