How will 5G impact your business? Your questions answered...

Still unable to connect to fibre (superfast) internet?
5G connectivity (or even 4G in rural areas) may provide the answer to your broadband problems.

Like many business owners, you may need a little help to choose a suitable internet solution and sift through the growing range of options. Fortunately, we caught up with telecoms expert and Blend Telecom founder, Jay Birch to discuss how 5G connectivity and mobile broadband could help your business. We asked him the following questions:

So, what is 5G, and should I consider switching to it for my business?

Rapid and mobile, 5G data plans could provide significant opportunities for small businesses over the next few years.

Rapid and mobile, 5G data plans could provide significant opportunities for small businesses over the next few years.

5G stands for Fifth Generation and is the fastest phone network than we’ve ever seen. Speeds in the future are set to be up to an incredible 1GB/s. The most exciting part is the very low latency speed, which means there’s virtually no delay between devices. Therefore, allowing machines to think quicker with their mother ship. For example, driverless cars become a real possibility with 5G. The low latency speed could also mean that an American surgeon could operate on a patient through a robot in a hospital in Cardiff. Operating in real-time, with no delays.

Business users will benefit by having access fast internet speeds out of the office, being able to connect with their equipment out in the field, and even replace their slow office broadband to a 5G router instead. Together these factors make for more efficient, productive work.

In order to get 5G, you will need a 5G phone, price plan, and be in a city that’s 5G capacity has been enabled by your operator.

Can I access a 5G network in my hometown?

This all depends on where you live. Initially, operators are focusing on the busiest cities in the UK and are quickly rolling 5G out further afield. If you’re with Vodafone or EE, you’ll be able to access the 5G network in over 8 major cities including Cardiff which is growing weekly. 5G is only going to expand further across the country. O2 and Three are anticipated to reveal new cities later in the year. So, don’t be disheartened if your hometown isn’t on any of the lists for providers.

Is 5G data capped or unlimited?

The answer to this question entirely depends on your business requirements and your chosen network. Some networks now offer unlimited data plans to help take advantage of 5G speeds, but they’re not exclusive to 5G tariffs. For example, Vodafone offers three different unlimited packages which are tailored to the speeds you want to receive, which includes access to 5G by default. Or, you could simply add 5G to your current data plan. EE also have unlimited data plans but charge slightly more for access to the 5G network. I highly recommend speaking to a local independent such as Blend Telecom who can help choose the right package for your business needs.

What are the differences between business and domestic plans?

The main difference is that domestic plans are made for consumers or individuals and business plans give companies a much higher level of service. Blend Telecom, for example, act as a middleman for companies to negotiate a better deal for business phones and act as a main point of contact during the lifecycle of the contract. No more waiting on hold with the big carriers, we do this for you. Having a business account also means you have regular reviews to make sure you are on the right price plan for your business to save money in the long run.

Can 5G internet replace my existing broadband connection? 

I believe it can.  An example of this is a local coffee shop in Cardiff, which was having difficulties in getting fibre broadband and were struggling with speeds of only 5MB/s. The only option before 5G was to have a dedicated leased line at a huge cost of £300 per month. With 5G, they have managed to get speeds of 110MB/s through a Vodafone Giggacube on a very low monthly price. 5G and unlimited data plans will help those users struggling with fibre in rural areas or even city centres.