The 5G Revolution: What’s one more “G” among friends?

3G, 4G, LTE, and now 5G. Why should we care? What is “one more G” in the pantheon of mobile standards and what does it mean to the IT industry in general, and the staffing industry and client staffing decisions in particular?

Beginning with the advent of 2G technology, but really starting with 3G, the telecommunications industry and a number of other industries were changed forever. Ubiquitous voice and data, broadband internet access, digital apps, the appearance of the cloud, big data, e-commerce and even the explosion of services like Uber or Airbnb and social media platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn have been made possible by these mobile technologies. Without them, we might still have these services, but we would be forever tethered to a desktop or laptop computer at home or at internet cafés.

Now comes 5G. While 5G may seem like an evolution, it has the potential to bring another revolution to consumer and B-to-B markets and services. It will bring higher speeds to the edge, more reliable connections, connectivity to a massive number of devices, and cost reductions. Finally, 5G uses less energy and is applicable to a much greater range of use cases.

Key Skills

In terms of what it means to the IT industry and staffing firms everywhere, the demand for five key skills will dominate the deployment of both 5G and the technologies that use this new capability. Staffing firms that can provide these skills quickly, at scale, cost-effectively, and with the ability to flex with demand will be the leaders in this new market.

  • 5G will require the ability to engineer platforms on a small scale. The use of this technology in the Internet of things is predicted to have a massive effect on end points that can be interconnected to perform functions not yet considered. To deploy 5G in the Internet of things requires that the connected devices be cheap, small, low power, and “everywhere” — meaning the ability to engineer small “things” will be critical.
  • Next, 5G will require wide ranging cloud, privacy, and security capabilities. Each new 5G connection represents a larger drain on compute resources and the opportunity for exploitation. Connecting, servicing, and security this new high-speed network will be the key to future use cases for the technology.
  • Further, 5G will generate vast amounts of data, necessitating quantum leaps in big data skills, machine learning, robotics, data mining, and visualization to make use of the data coming from Internet of things devices everywhere.

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  • 5G will also require a different kind of supply chain. As more and more 5G devices are deployed into homes, offices, factories, cities, and mobile platforms (cars, planes, trains), the way in which we obtain, maintain, and dispose of these capabilities will vary greatly. Today privacy and security concerns dominate how we use and dispose of laptops and phones . . . in the future they will dominate how we use and dispose of our cars, our stoves, our overcoats, and our lawnmowers!
  • Finally, 5G will require state-of-the-art skills in platforms, mobile apps, systems programming and applications solutions to take advantage of the pervasiveness, speed and reliability of these new platforms.

Given any luck at all, the emergence of 5G will lead to an entirely new world of working and living — one enabled by billions of miniature devices connected to a global web of new services. At the same time, the demands for skills — cloud, security, applications, miniaturization, data, and supply chain — will drive the speed with which companies can take advantage of this new world.


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One Response to “The 5G Revolution: What’s one more “G” among friends?”

  1. David Gleit says:

    Excellent explanatory column about 5G and its impact. Yes, let’s hope we all have a “little luck” and it all goes well. I think of IoT and all it implies as somewhat analogous to the development of electricity in our lives. Electricity has been harnessed to work everywhere in some fashion, from our big electric grid systems to automobiles to small devices working on batteries. Now “data” is being harnessed to work everywhere in some fashion, from the internet grid to automobiles to small devices – only this time almost everything will be “connected” to everything else.

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