Going forward, 5G will be the major communications channel for big data transfers of video and audio. But 5G also has its issues. Here’s what companies planning to deploy 5G for big data need to know.

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Over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day, and the velocity at which this data must be processed is also growing exponentially. For the many companies using big data in operations and analytics, the move to 5G bandwidth can’t come soon enough.

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With 5G also comes these crucial planning issues:

1. 5G implementations must fit with what you’ve got

Few enterprises will be able to afford a full-blown cutover to 5G, given the investment in new equipment. The key will be being able to balance new 5G investments while continuing to run the assets you already have in place. 

“You should be thinking about how you can effectively overlay 5G onto the existing network footprint,” said Mike Eddy, VP of corporate development at Resonant, an RF solutions provider. “Wireless technologies, like 5G, that operate at a higher frequency than previous cellular generations, have a shorter signal propagation. Network planners should consider how they can best coordinate the existing 4G network, which is more effective at traveling longer distances, with the higher speed yet lower range 5G network.”

2. 5G can cause unintended inference problems for which you need to plan

In November, 2021, the FAA issued a special bulletin alerting manufacturers, operators and pilots that action may be needed to address potential interference with sensitive aircraft electronics caused by the use of 5G telecommunications technology

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“The 5G interference of altimeters scenario is the most dangerous because it affects airplane safety, but it is only one of the various interference issues we expect to see,” Eddy said. “This problem demonstrates that there is a potential for interference between 5G, Wi-Fi, ultra-wideband and the multiple applications that operate in these frequency bands.” 

Eddy added that next-generation wireless networks will need to coexist with existing networks to unlock new applications, because any potential interference will degrade performance. 

3. Management’s expectations for 5G should be level-set

5G data speeds are expected to be up to 50 times faster than those of 4G networks, so management’s expectations of what 5G can do will also be high. Unfortunately, the 5G communications interference issues are likely to inhibit video and data speeds, as well as coverage. This can lead to disappointed expectations.

For this reason, CIOs and others with network leadership roles should acquaint management with these issues upfront so management’s expectations are realistic. 

4. Tackle 5G interference as part of your implementation plan

One way to protect network bandwidth from 5G interference is to deploy high-performance radio frequency filters. These RF filters eliminate unwanted signals from entering the radio spectrum and can also be used to protect network bandwidth. This would improve 5G performance.

5.  If your company is delivering 5G services, let your customers know in advance what they can expect

Implementing 5G to its full capacity won’t be an overnight event. Instead, 5G capability rollouts are likely to be incremental. 

Companies should appropriately set customer expectations so that customers know what to expect from 5G deployment.

“We are in the early stages of 5G deployment and different operators will be deploying 5G at different rates,” Eddy said. “Therefore, it is important that customers know that they will not see the full advantages of 5G immediately and will have to patiently wait until the network is deployed in new frequency bands.”

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