Your fans have arrived. They anticipate an exciting, modern, engaging experience at your venue. What does that look like?
Chances are increasingly likely that they will access the internet while at your event. Internet usage of WiFi by fans at sporting events is growing according to Stadium Tech Report. Those users are increasingly doing more while connected. They are using all that data on their phones for social media, messaging, fantasy league updates, and scores. They expect access to a stable, secure, and fast WiFi connection. This is where 5G and WiFi 6 come in.
By now you’ve heard news about the latest generation 5G “revolution” in wireless connectivity. What does it mean? And what is the difference between 5G and WiFi 6? This revolution is evolving toward improving not only the event venue experience, but many aspects of modern life, from transportation to the medical field.
The Differences Between 5G and WiFi 6
5G and WiFi 6 have similar capabilities and complement each other. In fact, they are designed to work together for a secure and seamless, uninterrupted wireless experience. But they have several differences.
First, it’s important to understand that 5G and WiFi 6 are not different levels of the same technology. 5G and WiFi 6 are different technology types altogether. They have different strengths as well. 5G is a cellular technology while WiFi 6 is a WiFi technology called Wireless LAN (WLAN).
Cellular networks such as 5G operate in large, wide geographic areas that provide connectivity via cell towers and small cells. 5G is most suited for when you are outside, on the move, and on the road. 5G is suitable for internet-of-things (IOT) devices such as smart vehicles and highway sensors.
WiFi 6, on the other hand, is a technology that provides connectivity through routers and access points. WiFi in general is used at less expensive, local area networks – geographical islands of connectivity at places such as in or near a home or coffee shop. WiFi is better than cellular for indoor wireless connectivity. WiFi 6 is specifically well suited for the network of internet-of-things (IOT) connected devices and high-density wireless service used in and around stadiums, sports venues, and similar locations.
Other main differences involve 1) licensing, 2) authentication, and 3) network security. 5G and WiFi 6 are both more cyber secure than previous versions.
The Benefits of 5G and WiFi 6
The next step in the evolution of the internet is edge computing. Instead of sending data to a central server to be processed and sending it back again to where it was collected, data is processed at the edge of the network where it was collected. This improves network performance, reduces latency, and improves privacy and security. Companies reduce costs by avoiding paying for expensive centralized infrastructure. ISPs keep up with demand as more users come online. Governments can regulate information flows more effectively while preserving privacy rights (all while mitigating risks like cybersecurity breaches).
5G Makes Edge Computing a Reality
5G has a significant impact on the sheer number and different types of tech devices that it will connect to the internet, improving the edge computing, bandwidth, and connectivity of a multitude of IOT devices such as sensors, data relays and small computing devices. These devices will collect data for the next generation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
You’ve by now likely heard about several of the exciting inventions coming our way. Engineers are working in the next several years to enable 5G to support 4K video streaming on your phone, internet browsing that is 10 times as fast as it is now, augmented reality (AR) sunglasses that look like regular sunglasses, self-driving cars, and even remote surgery. The internet will be almost everywhere, in all kinds of devices, in the next several years.
Autonomy is becoming more possible every day because of the real-time data collected from IOT devices at the edge and sent to enterprise resource software. This improves logistics and delivery services for industrial and commercial use and makes artificial intelligence and machine learning tools possible.
Edge computing is now a realistic possibility because of the most significant benefit of 5G: its latency (speed). It now takes only a thousandth of a second for data to be sent and received, bringing computation and data storage closer to the source of the data, the device. This improves edge computing functionality of devices that live on the edge. Users get faster access to their favorite sites. Companies can directly monitor conditions and automated responses of devices in near real time.
Other significant benefits of 5G are bandwidth, capacity, and efficiency:
Bandwidth: The wide pipeline of 5G technology enables data to move through the network at breakneck speed, up to 20 Gigabits-per-second. This is 100x better than its predecessor. This means it takes, for example, only 10 seconds to download an Ultra HD movie.
Capacity: 5G can support higher device density for an area, up to 1 million devices per square kilometer, ten times more than 4G.
Efficiency: Battery power is better. 5G radios can be shut off quickly when they don’t need to be connected. This means a significant increase in battery life and reduction of network energy usage.
Rapid Growth of 5G and WiFi 6
Both 5G and WiFi 6 are being deployed rapidly because of their synchronicity, but WiFi 6 is outpacing 5G. IT departments are familiar with how to deploy and operate WiFi networks, while 5G still involves a learning curve. WiFi 6 devices are outselling 5G devices and will likely continue to do so because of their affordability, availability, and compatibility with previous versions of WiFi. The technology is embedded in smartphones, tablets, PCs, wireless cameras, smart home devices, games consoles, wearables, and AR/VR headsets.
WiFi 6 is the future of enterprise connectivity. Enterprise leaders expect 5G and WiFi 6 to transform their businesses significantly in the next few years as wireless infrastructures continue to build out and IOT devices become more prevalent. Digitization and connection is becoming more prevalent across industries as time goes on.
5G and WiFi 6 are exciting and intriguing technologies, with tremendous potential for the future. While we’ve traditionally thought of cellular and WiFi just as ways to connect to the internet while at home or on the go, the latest versions of these technologies now have the power to fundamentally change the possibilities when it comes to how we communicate. 5G and WiFi 6 offer a world of new possibilities for edge computing and greater efficiency in how data is processed – possibilities we are only beginning to imagine.
Run with Green Zebra Networks for edge computing that optimizes your enterprise possibilities in the new 5G and WiFi 6 landscape. Contact a trusted advisor at [email protected] for an assessment as to how you can deploy next gen ERP for your organization and create an engaging, memorable experience for your visitors.