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5G Might Transform the Way We Work, Overnight

Limitless connectivity can bring in unlimited possibilities and accelerate numerous aspects of economy, which are already evolving at a rapid pace.

Although there is no substitute for collaboration work and the all-important human interaction, the fifth generation (5G) mobile wireless connectivity can transform this in a way unimaginable yet possible, predicts Ericsson.

While remote working become the mainstay in the ‘new normal’ with the COVID-19 pandemic, 5G carries with it the potential to create a virtually-connected work-population with a speed of around 10 gigabits per second to your phone.

Extended reality-enabled interactions, edge computing, and the Industrial Internet of Things are emerging over the tech horizon like a rising sun, a Verizon research visualizes.

“In the future, everything is going to be transformed by 5G. The pace of technological change in decades past has been fast. The only thing we know for sure is that, in the future, it’s going to be even faster. We’re going to experience a technological shift that will transform people, businesses and society as a whole,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg has been quoted as predicting.

So, it’s time to say goodbye to the risk of a video call becoming pixelated, an email getting delayed, or remote attendance tools malfunctioning due to poor network coverage.


Flexible Work is no longer Just a Generous Perk

According to a Global Workplace Analytics study, remote work has grown by 159 per cent since 2005 and it will only continue to expand at a staggering pace given the fact that flexible work culture has reached critical mass.

LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 Report found that flexible work was one of the top four ideas shaping the future of HR and hiring. The report further said that there’s been a 78 per cent increase in job posts on LinkedIn that mention work flexibility in the last two years.

Clearly, flexible work is no longer just a generous perk and employers are taking notice. And 5G with at least 10 times the speed available today will play a critical role with tomorrow’s workplace extending far outside traditional office spaces.


The Transformative Power

The 5G revolution is set to change how we communicate, share, and function in our daily lives.

The wireless technology is significantly faster, delivering 20 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) peak data rates and over 100 megabits-per-second (Mbps) average data rates. It also supports 100 times increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency.

Low latency under 5 milliseconds is a key differentiator in 5G, which means data takes very little time to go from source to destination. The result: online audio, video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration, and other activities that consume a lot of data become much faster.

The average 5G download speeds are also between 1.4 and 14.3 faster than that of 4G. Editing data-heavy design files, code snippets, or even videos on the cloud can be seamless, thanks to 5G.

This new kind of network is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together, including machines, objects, and devices, creating a true unified communications-empowered office where not all the employees are working from the same office or location, but are still connected impeccably.


Work-from-Home to Work-from-Anywhere

With organisations increasingly embracing remote and having distributed teams, the ability to collaborate anywhere has never been more imperative.

The 5G technology will make it possible for employees on the go and anywhere to attend video meetings with reliable, high-quality video with minimal latency issues, without being tethered to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot.

According to Ericsson’s report, ‘The dematerialised office: A vision of the internet of senses in the 2030 future workplace’, half of about 8,000 white-collar respondents said they would prefer a digital workstation to enable their full-sense presence while working from anywhere.

Along with delivering faster download and data transfer speeds, 5G plus AR and VR can create such a collaborative environment with extended reality-enabled interactions with minimal delay between real and virtual world actions giving the feeling of almost being there in person.

Employees can work anytime, anywhere in a designated virtual space and collaborate with team members and clients in real-time, giving time-bound and geographical constraints a go-by.

Julie Coppernoll, VP of global marketing at Intel, recently said nothing would be labelled as “mobile” under 5G because everything will be mobile. “Workers will enjoy ultimate freedom and flexibility regarding how, when, where and on which devices to collaborate and produce, and workflows will be less rife with connectivity issues thanks to 5G’s faster speeds and reliability.”

‘Dematerialised office’ environment will be a reality sooner than expected.


Job Creation & GDP Growth

According to Brookings Institute, 5G’s augmented speeds will offer people more economic opportunity through improved access to healthcare, education and employment.

The 5G-powered innovations will allow for even more people to enter and thrive in the remote workforce since the wireless technology has the potential to connect those without access to broadband — particularly rural and underprivileged populations.

Thus, talent pools will be sourced and tapped from smaller places, creating unimaginable possibilities for an economy, especially like India, that is teaming with human resource.

While PWC estimates that 5G technology will add USD 1.3 trillion to global GDP by 2030, the Indian prime minister recently called for collaborative efforts between government and industry for rapid rollout of the service as it will contribute USD 450 billion to the Indian economy in the next decade and a half.

Over the period 2023–2040, 5G technologies are estimated to make an overall contribution of approximately USD 450 billion to the Indian economy.

The global telecom industry body GSMA expects India to have 920 million unique mobile subscribers by 2025, which will include 88 million 5G connections. “This rapid expansion of the subscription base will entail quick work on making the infrastructure and software ready to adopt 5G, and that, in turn, makes it a motivating sector for job creation,” Deepak Sood, ASSOCHAM secretary general, wrote in an article published in the Economic Times.

According to a research by National Spectrum Consortium and the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), the 5G revolution will create 4.6 million “cognitive” and “cognitive-physical” skilled jobs across the economy – agriculture, construction, manufacturing, utilities, transportation and warehousing, education, healthcare, and government including defence, through 2034 in America. This is in contrast to previous waves when job growth revolved around “digital” industries such as entertainment and social networks.

A study by Qualcomm revealed that the 5G value chain (including OEMs, operators, content creators, app developers, and consumers) could alone support up to 22.8 million jobs, or more than one job for every person in Beijing, China.

In short, 5G has a potential to usher in an era of job growth, better jobs, and reduced economic inequality.


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