By Ernst Wittmann, Regional Manager for Southern and East Africa at TCL Communication

The fifth generation of mobile network technology has arrived in South Africa and it’s spreading fast, as mobile network operators expand their networks. 5G offers a massive boost to connectivity speeds, with real-world tests showing that South African operators can deliver download speeds of 175Mbps to 233Mpbs on their 5G networks.

Plus, 5G offers massively improved latency, which is the time between performing an action online and seeing the response. This can make a significant difference to your experience when using business applications like videoconferencing or processing payments. 5G networks also manage network traffic better, resulting in increased capacity and consistency.

Here are some reasons for small and medium business owners to consider using 5G devices and services in their businesses:

1.       Smoother mobile working experiences

We live in an age of flexible work where we want to be productive wherever we are. A good 5G smartphone will allow you to create a fast Wi-Fi connection on-the-go with speeds that are just about as good as the office fibre. That makes it easy to share that large presentation with your customer or make a smooth, clear videocall wherever you are.

2.       Empower the remote workforce

Many members of your team might not have fibre at home and could be struggling with slower mobile connections. They might be frustrated because their connectivity isn’t good enough for them to switch video on during virtual meetings or because they are slowed down when they need to access a file from the cloud. If they are in an area with 5G coverage, getting them a 5G device could be a quick and easy way to provide them with a faster connection that enhances their productivity. 

3.       Get ready for the next wave of technology change

5G isn’t just about making existing applications work faster and better—it’s a foundational technology for the next-generation of digital tools and services. Experimenting now can help your business get ahead of the curve. One practical example of this is augmented and virtual reality. These technologies depend on superfast network connections to deliver rich, real-time content.

Another example is the Internet of Things (IoT), where we’re seeing connected sensors and devices in homes, factories, shops, offices and other settings make the world surrounding us smarter. 5G is designed to support an environment in which nearly everything is connected to the internet, allowing us to collect data and automate more processes.

4.       Futureproof the business 

If you’re buying smartphones for yourself and your team, you will want the investment to last. Over the next two years, 5G will become widely available and you’ll be able to benefit from its high speeds in many parts of the country. If you buy 5G devices now, you won’t need to upgrade to benefit as 5G network rollouts accelerate.