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Strategies to get ready for 5G

The high speeds, massive capacity and low latency of 5G Ultra Wideband are already available in parts of 34 cities nationwide, and the footprint is growing every day. When 5G Ultra Wideband arrives in your area, will your organization be ready to take advantage of the new capabilities and opportunities that it offers? The good news is that you can begin building systems now that can transform customer experiences. The sooner you start on your path to 5G (and, ultimately, the digital transformation that comes with it), the better positioned you’ll be to gain an advantage over the competition.

But getting ready for 5G means different things to different organizations, depending on their business focus and the current state of their IT infrastructure. The following can give you insights into what to consider in terms of your 5G readiness in four key areas:

  • Get your network ready for 5G.

    The simple truth is that you can’t take full advantage of the capabilities of 5G with a legacy network infrastructure. For example, while 5G can dramatically reduce how much time it takes to move data, your devices and applications will still need to be able to process high volumes of data quickly. Creating a plan to shift key computing functions from centralized data centers to the cloud and closer to edge devices can speed up that data processing by shortening the distance that data has to travel.

    Since traditional router-centric WANs aren’t really designed for the cloud, it’s wise to look at network virtualization and software-defined wide-area-network (SD-WAN) strategies that can help you start decentralizing your data centers and shifting your applications and data to the cloud and closer to the edge of your network. You’ll also want to explore how network virtualization and SD-WAN can position you to more easily take advantage of 5G’s advanced capabilities, which will enable you to create independent end-to-end virtual networks that you can provision and control with varying performance attributes.

    No matter how you plan to get your network ready for 5G, you don’t need to do it on your own. Verizon can provide you with insights on where you currently stand in terms of 5G readiness. We can help you outline a process to gather and consolidate key data points that can provide direction on how to evolve your unique business model toward being 5G ready and help you take the necessary steps to get there. Take advantage of any combination of the following services to get started on your road to 5G readiness:

  • Get your security ready for 5G.

    For all the potentially new innovative capabilities and opportunities that 5G could deliver, it also requires organizations to revisit their security processes and strategies. For example, are you sufficiently prepared to secure the dramatic acceleration of data, endpoints and apps that will be enabled by both 5G and the associated ecosystems that leverage the cloud? One of the best ways to prepare for that kind of acceleration is to employ network virtualization and stand up software-defined wide-area-network (SD-WAN) strategies that enable you to create secure networks for your cloud applications, automate security capabilities and give you greater control over your cloud infrastructures. With SD-WAN’s inherent ability to channel sensitive data through private encrypted tunnels, SD-WAN can also provide an extra layer of data security for the different security zones that 5G will allow you to create.

    As you build your cloud security strategies, you’ll also want to make sure that your security teams have visibility into your expanding cloud infrastructure. You’ll need to ensure that those with oversight of your cloud applications not only have proper security training but are adequately security minded. You’ll also want to employ measures to minimize human-error-related cloud security failures, which some predict will be a major concern. 

    In addition to cloud acceleration, trying to secure the ever-expanding attack surface that comes with 5G is also of major importance. As your network of Internet of Things (IoT) devices grows, without adequate vision into that network, every new device you add can become an invisible entry point for attackers to exploit. And every other connected IoT device becomes a potential steppingstone for those attackers to delve deeper into your overall enterprise network. To secure the expansive attack surface created by IoT networks, it’s wise to take advantage of next-gen tools that combine the speed and power of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions with the innovative security and tamper-proof visibility of blockchain technologies.

    When it comes to elevating your security for the changes that 5G will bring, you don’t have to do it on your own. Verizon can provide you with insights on where you currently stand in terms of 5G readiness and help you take the necessary steps to become 5G ready through a combination of the following services:

  • Get your UC&C ready for 5G.

    5G Ultra Wideband could have a major impact on your unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) efforts. It’s built on a radio-access technology that can deliver greater flexibility and substantially faster speeds, with throughput levels potentially up to 10 gigabits per second of data. In terms of latency, it has the potential to reduce data send-and-response times to less than 10 milliseconds. The high speeds and low latency of 5G Ultra Wideband could pave the way for innovative and more seamless ways of communicating to and from the enterprise, factory floor, boardroom, emergency room, airport, across the globe and home.

    At a minimum, that should mean greatly improved quality of video calls. For example, low latency means sharing and annotating resources in near real time could make virtual collaboration simpler. But it will likely also usher in more revolutionary ways of interacting, such as through augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and holographic projections. But being able to take advantage of those innovations requires upfront preparation before 5G even arrives. That effort might be significant for some organizations, especially if they’re not among the 19.9% that actually believe their group chat and collaboration tools perform as advertised.  

    But it’s not just about having the right tools. In today’s virtual network of globally distributed workers, data streams and cloud-based platforms, you need to build processes and strategies that can increase the effectiveness of your current communication tools. As you build those strategies, you can also begin to explore new communication options that can take advantage of the high speed and low latency of 5G Ultra Wideband.

    As you work to get your UC&C ecosystem ready for 5G Ultra Wideband, you don’t have to do it on your own. Verizon can provide you with insights on where you currently stand in terms of 5G Ultra Wideband readiness and help you take the necessary steps to become 5G ready through a combination of the following services:

  • Get your CX ready for 5G.

    One element of creating a cohesive digital transformation strategy requires that companies take an earnest and honest look at their end-to-end customer experience (CX) and the impacts it can have on their larger investment. This is especially true when you consider studies that indicate that 80% of customers feel the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.  The high speed, high capacity and low latency of a 5G Ultra Wideband ecosystem create endless possibilities for enhancing an organization’s CX efforts in innovative and deeply engaging ways.

    As an example, 5G’s ability to more fully employ edge computing to tighten the gap between where data is gathered, stored and processed will certainly be a major force in elevating CX to levels never before imagined. One key reason for this is that it could allow for omnichannel engagement and near real-time insights into customer preferences at the point of sale. This could enable more efficient upsell, as well as broader and deeper customer engagements. Innovations in edge compute applications could be key to driving near real-time interactions with customers (and employees) regardless of where they are and while they roam. 

    5G and edge computing could also be essential to moving analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) processes closer to the edge of the network to allow customer interactions to become highly personalized. Likewise, it could be the means to power new immersive CX technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). But even before 5G becomes available in your area, you can still begin today to implement effective uses cases with AR and VR using multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies and your current LTE connections as part of your path to get ready for 5G.

    A major part of getting ready to take advantage of 5G-driven CX innovations requires a decentralization of traditional data center infrastructures. It requires transitioning to distributed edge networks and data centers that can aggregate and analyze data moved off of devices to bring more valuable insights to your point of sale (POS), supply chain and head office. 

    A great way to facilitate that effort is to update your infrastructure with virtualized networks to improve reliability and manageability, and create a solid foundation for edge integration. A safe and successful transition to edge computing also requires a transition strategy specific to your unique business needs that aligns both your IT and business units’ goals and efforts.

    Preparing for 5G-driven CX can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Verizon can help you get ready by giving you insights on where you currently stand in terms of 5G readiness and helping you take the necessary steps to become completely 5G ready through a combination of the following services:

Learn more.

5G promises to change the way you work, interact and innovate, but only if you take the necessary steps to be ready for those promises. To learn more about how Verizon can help you be 5G ready, visit https://www.verizon.com/business/solutions/5g/