The 5G Talk at Davos is its Impact on Business – Let’s Talk About Today’s 5G Mobile Consumer Connections
By Philip Mustain, Mobolize | CEO, Co-Founder
The World Economic Forum is this week in Davos, Switzerland, and 5G is being presented as powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Its “superpowers” of capacity, speed and fast response time will provide the “solid foundation” for technical solutions like IoT, edge computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning. It will provide the technology power to “connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet” to maximize business value.
From everything from supply chain management, design and manufacturing efficiencies, smart cars, energy efficiency and even smart clothes, 5G will be the foundation for this transformation.
It’s being reported that by the end of 2025, 5G will have 2.6 billion subscriptions with networks that cover up to 65% of the world’s 7.8 billion population. IoT cellular connections will reach 5 billion worldwide, up from 1.3 billion today. That computes to $11.1 billion in economic value by 2025 according to McKinsey.
That all sounds amazing for business, but what about today’s smartphone user? When will they be connected to 5G and what benefits will it bring?
Today’s consumer streams movies and live events (like this past weekend’s games of the Chiefs vs. the Titans and the 49ers vs. the Packers), along with online banking, ride apps, using GPS to find most everything, posting TikTok videos and so much more.
What do consumers worry about? Connectivity and security. A user’s supply chain management is getting groceries timely delivered from an app. Their design and manufacturing efficiencies are an app that makes designing and ordering wedding invites easy and paying for them online secure so no one snags credit card data. Smart cars could be cool but are a long way from being found on a car lot. Energy efficiency is telling Alexa and Next to turn the home heat system on or off from a mobile phone app. And smart clothes are an Apple watch or merino wool thermal underwear that hopefully kept Kansas City Chiefs fans warm in the below 20º Fahrenheit chill in the stadium. (Sorry, it’s about the wool in the long johns not cellular technology.)
And users want it today. Now. Because being connected and protected is the expectation of today’s mobile users. To them, 5G is something they see in an advertisement. It isn’t widely available except in a few test places. For example, Sprint has 5G service up and running in parts of its hometown Kansas City, Kan., and it was offered at the Chiefs/Titans game if you had a 5G phone. Sprint also offers 5G in parts of Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles; New York City; Phoenix, and Washington, D.C., which is awesome.
Other major telecom companies around the world have launched 5G areas or are planning to, but the reality is that 5G rollout has a long way to go, including the availability of 5G on the mobile phone. There are a few phones that offer 5G from Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG and some others, but Apple won’t offer 5G until it introduces the Apple 12, scheduled for September 2020.
So, for today’s user, it’s not a 5G game, it’s a connectivity and security game. Staying connected and protected on their smartphone.
Connected as they move from Wi-Fi to cellular and back again. Users don’t want GPS that pauses because their phone is stuck on home Wi-Fi and won’t easily or quickly switch to cellular. They hate when a streaming video hesitates or stops because the phone is trying to figure out which network to use and won’t let go of the unresponsive one.
Protected when they use a Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop or buy online. Wi-Fi networks can be vulnerable to hackers and users want to be protected from having their data stolen. They also want to be secure in making online transactions and managing bank accounts. There is growing understanding that the bad guys are out there, and users need to be protected.
Mobolize supports the drive toward 5G and will help maintain Wi-Fi/5G cellular connections and Wi-Fi security for mobile users. Today’s smart game is to keep every mobile user connected and protected now – a winning strategy for everyone.