5G Explainer: What are the “Eight Currencies” and What It Means for Business?

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg talked about the Eight Currencies of 5G – throughput, service deployment, mobility, connected devices, energy efficiency, data volume, latency and reliability. A lot of huge investments in time and resources have been committed to build out the infrastructure for all eight, to support a 5G network.

The point is that a company can't just decide they want to offer 5G and be ready in a few months. It takes years of deliberate planning, testing, and innovation. 5G is crucial for Hong Kong to realize its plan to become a smart city. It will eventually touch nearly every industry sector, profoundly impact our economy, and dramatically improve our global society.

But what does this mean for business customers? How can companies and government and public safety agencies take advantage of 5G today and build for the future? Let’s take a closer look at what the Eight Currencies mean for businesses.

Throughput and Service Deployment

A 5G network has the potential to deliver speed many times faster than our current 4G network. We predict that 5G will ultimately enable peak data rates of 10 Gbps.

This throughput will enable autonomous vehicles, drive manufacturing efficiencies, and support AR/VR solutions and remote healthcare services. We are already working with entrepreneurs and innovators as they build these and other 5G applications that will change our world in our 5G Labs around the county.

5G will power the real-time enterprise. 5G and network virtualization (using software to perform network functions) enable service and application deployment without having to install additional hardware. This will lead to a dramatic reduction in typical service deployment times. These faster deployment times will allow us to roll out new features and security improvements quickly to address the dynamic needs of our customers.

Mobility and Connected Devices

5G technology is designed to enable devices traveling up to 310 miles per hour (around 499 kilometers per hour) to stay connected to the network. We have tested 5G network handoff techniques to enable passengers in fast-moving vehicles and trains to stay connected while they are moving. Imagine highways of self-driving cars or warehouses with automated robots moving at hundreds of miles per hour transmitting data and reacting to changing information instantaneously. With 5G it’s possible.

In the U.S., Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network will eventually handle 10 to 100 times more connected devices per square kilometer than 4G – a true internet of things (IoT). Think that’s overkill? Consider that experts believe the number of connected devices will be more than three times the global population by 2022. This will allow cities to tap into the power of 5G for smart street lights, remote security monitoring, and intelligent rail and smart parking solutions.

5G will change the way businesses operate, as chips get cheaper, more applications come online and more things (stadium seats, retail items, manufacturing equipment, etc.) get connected. We can imagine a time when 5G-connected drones can be used for everything from home package delivery to supporting search and rescue operations. The next generation of IoT is coming, and 5G will power it.

Latency and Data Volume

5G’s latency will be one of the drivers of true technological change, bringing data transit speed to many times less than the blink of an eye – eventually less than 10 milliseconds end-to-end response times.

All kinds of new – unthinkable until now – applications become possible once you reach super low latency levels. We’ve already addressed AR/VR and autonomous vehicles, but 5G will allow doctors and first responders to get data-intensive information, like full-body scans or building plans, in seconds.

The 5G standard was designed to support up to 10 TB of data per square kilometer. This means the 5G network will carry a massive amount of data for a large number of simultaneous users. Users in high-density areas, like airports, stadiums and urban centers, will still experience the fast speeds and low latency of 5G service.

Energy Efficiency and Reliability

Sustainability should be woven into the fabric of every company’s core value and more companies are embracing an approach that puts social responsibility at the center of business operations. 5G promises to be more efficient than 4G - 5G will have lower energy requirements (up to 90% less than 4G).

In the U.S., Verizon has the most reliable 4G LTE network, and our engineers are working hard to re-architect our 5G network to be exceptionally reliable with uptimes that could potentially reach 99.999%. 5G should offer reliability businesses can count on at critical moments.

Not all these eight currencies will be addressed for businesses on day one. However, all networks should be built to deliver the full potential of 5G so businesses can drive enhanced productivity, create new revenue streams, respond more quickly to changing business dynamics and deliver better value to customers.

The article is authored by David Kim, regional managing director, Greater China, South Asia, Japan & Korea, Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CDOTrends.