Why multi-spectrum 5G networks matter for all businesses.

Future 5G networks are being designed to meet today's growing data demands while expanding the scope of mobile technology beyond the capabilities of LTE. From field services to manufacturing to public safety, the fifth generation of network technology has the potential to change the way businesses of every size across every industry work.

Although we often hear about future 5G-enabled innovations only enterprises can afford, like autonomous fleets and smart factories, it’s likely that some of the first—and potentially some of the most impactful—innovations powered by 5G will come from smaller businesses with big ideas.

“Each new era of connectivity helps level the playing field for small business,” says Mike Katz, Executive Vice President, T-Mobile for Business. “5G represents the opportunity for an exponentially larger leap forward than previous wireless network upgrades so the potential scale of change will be much greater—for small, medium, and large businesses alike.”

“Each new era of connectivity helps level the playing field for small business.”

Mike Katz, Executive Vice President, T-Mobile for Business

T-MOBILE’S MULTI-SPECTRUM STRATEGY

Not all 5G networks are created equal.

5G networks are being built to leverage signals of varying frequencies: high-band, mid-band, and low-band.

High-band, or millimeter wave (mmWave), consists of spectrum above 24 GHz and offers incredible speeds, but the short waves don’t travel very far and struggle to penetrate walls, trees, and even glass. Mid-band consists of spectrum between 1 GHz and 6 GHz and offers a balance between speed and range. Where high-band waves can only cover a few city blocks and mid-band waves can cover somewhat broader areas, low-band waves (consisting of spectrum under 1 GHz) can cover hundreds of square miles, offering more reliable connectivity both indoors and outdoors.

MultiSpectrum 5G

To take full advantage of next-generation innovations, it’s crucial to find a partner with a network that can leverage multiple frequencies to deliver the right 5G signal to more places. 

High-band: For faster data transmission.

Over time, increased speeds from high-band networks could enable endless, high-value use cases. Security personnel could potentially take advantage of innovations in edge-computing to make critical safety decisions faster than ever before. Fleet managers could get more vehicle and driver data in truly real time, helping them make decisions that could possibly improve safety and cut costs. Remote software updates on POS devices used in retail, hospitality, and field services environments will happen quickly and seamlessly, keeping customer data secure and back-end inventory up to date.

Along with speed, the much lower latency attributed to 5G generally will likely enable even more new use cases. Among endless possibilities, this has the potential to completely change the way companies communicate with both employees and customers. A future of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) could help retailers enhance shopping experiences for customers.

But while high-band waves offer the blazing speed needed for some use cases, breadth in coverage will be required to enable others.

Mid-band: For a balance of speed and range.

If you think about spectrum like a cake, where high-band is the icing and can only serve a small area, the cake itself—mid-band—can go farther.

Mid-band’s longer waves cover a broader area with fast speeds, and with the capability to cover most metropolitan areas in the United States, this could extend some of the same high-band use cases mentioned above to span neighborhoods, districts, or even entire cities. Imagine enhanced video and audio quality that makes virtual conferencing seamless for remote workers; seamlessly connected fleet and city data to help transit services and passengers recalibrate ideal routes fast; or the ability to work in a city park just as efficiently as one’s corporate office.

Still, in order to satisfy Americans’ appetite for next-gen connectivity on a nationwide scale, a broad foundational layer is needed.

Low-band: For more connectivity in more places.

5G networks with low-band spectrum will enable unique use cases that high-band signals can’t.

Remote workers and customers in rural or suburban fringe areas who struggle with reliability could get increased connectivity that may help boost productivity. In the future, field reps could access authentication-dependent SaaS apps, like CRM, to gather customer data almost anywhere in the field, potentially helping to close more deals faster. Strong indoor signals could connect more IoT-enabled devices in smart buildings, underground parking lots, homes, and facilities, enabling future innovations that could enhance customer experiences, help business decision-makers identify cost-saving efficiencies, and improve our daily lives.

Because your business—and your customers—have different needs that can be met by different network spectrums, finding a partner with a multi-spectrum network is key to a successful wireless strategy.

To learn more about how cellular networks work, visit howmobileworks.com. And when you’re ready to find your 5G partner, contact us to discover what our 5G network means for your business.

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