Making a switch from 4G to 5G is not as simple as clicking a button or flipping a switch. This can be particularly true for companies that utilize internet of things devices or work with and develop cellular IoT projects for industry. Recent studies reveal that some of the concerns expressed by businesses across the country include high costs for integration, as well as developer tools, debugging capabilities, and essential support for internet of things device managers. Cost and security concerns top the list but depending on who you talk to and the area in which they specialize, there is a myriad of questions and skepticism about the promises made by 5G.
Many IoT Devices Still Running on 3G
While the rest of the world is using 4G and is thinking about 5G, there are some organizations and devices that are still running on 3G. Unfortunately, these older networks that support 3G use will disappear soon, so something must be done now to ensure that those devices and systems will continue working after the changes are made. In fact, one study estimates that there are millions of IoT devices still running in 2021. Most major carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, have announced plans to switch off their 3G networks beginning in 2022. Connectivity, compatibility, and security are top concerns for companies that still use 3G devices.
The good news is that for internet of things device managers and those working on cellular IoT projects with 3G devices, making the change to 4G is not as complex as what is required to move from 4G to using 5G in Boston or anywhere in the nation. The features supported by 5G, including increased capacities and capabilities for streaming video, telemedicine, and other secured connections, are irrelevant for most industries. The fact that more than 75 percent of IoT devices work on cellular connections that are stationary explains why many are not in a hurry to upgrade. Couple that with cost and security concerns, and it is easy to understand why making the move to 5G has not been a top priority.
Growth of Cellular IoT Projects and Usage
However, the chief issue that should convince businesses to make plans to move to 5G is the predicted growth of cellular IoT connections by industry experts. In 2020, the number of IoT device connections was estimated at around 1.6 billion. A compounded annual growth rate of 23 percent is anticipated, bringing the number of cellular IoT connection requirements to somewhere around 5.4 billion by 2026. Cellular IoT projects utilize the same mobile networks as smartphones to connect their devices to the internet. This alone should be reason enough to begin making plans to take advantage of the expanded network space and other benefits of moving to 5G.
Overcoming objections, figuring out how to achieve the desired results, and addressing concerns head-on should be a priority for internet of things device managers and developers of cellular IoT projects. Specific areas of concern, including troubleshooting issues, limited access to Tier 1 networks, and network quality degradation when IoT devices are in motion, need to be worked out for the transition to be successful. Other problems, such as no failover options during network outages and not having the ability to select which radio technology the IoT devices connect to, should be on the top list, as well.
Is Your Business Moving to 5G?
Weighing the advantages and considering all of the cost and security concerns is a must for businesses in this day and age. It pays to work with a technology consultant that can provide you with the answers, solutions, and support you need to ensure the continued success and growth of your organization. Synivate has earned a solid reputation in the Greater Boston area for our work with companies just like yours to provide custom services designed to deliver powerful, workable solutions for your technology and communications gaps. Whether your goals are to expand your capabilities to ensure you and your team are ready for 5G or whatever comes next, or if you have specific needs for communications, network security, business continuity, or managed IT services, we can provide services that meet or exceed your expectations. Contact our team today by calling 617-848-1248 or visiting our website to learn more about any of the services that we offer.