OBI 5G refresher — featuring WiredScore

Rob Prescott | 23 January 2020

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The roll out of 5G is progressing across the world, there are several reasons to be excited when considering how this will affect workspace in the future.

This blog will refresh your understanding of what 5G is, why is it better than 4G, and outline some possible applications in workspace buildings. We have teamed up with WiredScore to get their brief insights into how landlords can prepare for the 5G roll out.

What is 5G?

5G is the 5th Generation of wireless technology for digital cellular networks
• 5G has a higher frequency that 4G which means it can carry significantly more “information”
• The higher frequency means it does not travel as far as 4G and as a result, the network of transmitting equipment needs to be widespread, in order to transfer the signal

Why is 5G better than 4G?
• 5G can handle more devices than 3G and 4G – this will fix current band-width issues

• 5G will be able to accommodate mobile devices whilst catering for driverless cars and connected home products

• An example of this is when you are at a football match and your phone display shows full signal / 4G, however when you try to send a message or go online, the phone will not work. This is due to the large number of devices in the stadium, maxing out the band width capacity of the existing network. This will not happen with 5G

• 5G will be 10 – 20 times faster than 4G

• This is the time it takes for data from your device to be uploaded and reach its target. It measures the time it takes for data to go from source to destination in milliseconds
• 4G latency is currently circa 40 milliseconds
• 5G is going to be sub 10 milliseconds
• To put this into perspective, the fastest rate that the human brain can process incoming visual stimuli is 13 milliseconds

How might 5G effect the way we work in the future?

• Internet of Things (IoT)
• Sensors / remote management of lighting and heating in line with feedback from on-site sensors
• It will enhance the efficiency of the mobile workforce – 66% of companies allow for remote working in 2019, a figure which is set to increase during 2020
• Real time collaboration, instant document updates, VR conferences and meetings – the list goes on
• Cloud based building management systems (BMS) allowing control of multiple sites from a single hub – application for large businesses / Landlords with large real estate portfolio’s

What are the barriers effecting the roll out of 5G?

• Funding – who is going to pay for the infrastructure? Governments / Telecommunications companies? Due to the requirement for more masts to distribute the signal, the widespread roll out of 5G is very expensive, the discussions around who will cover this cost are still ongoing
• Security risks – the increased capacity of the 5G network have been associated with several security cyber security risks and international spying concerns

We have teamed up with WiredScore to get their input on how Landlords can prepare for the arrival of 5G capability:

What can Landlords do?

Rory Young of WiredScore explains,
“Landlords and developers currently face a set of strategic investment questions around in-building mobile. There is no simple answer for Landlords, however there are two important strategic considerations that will lay the foundation for how and when a solution will be required:

1. the likely use cases for current and prospective tenants
2. the date 5G will arrive in the building’s area

In the immediate term, landlords must first understand the current mobile performance of their buildings. There are then simple and relatively low-cost steps that can be taken to ensure buildings are prepared for mobile technologies. 5G is not a silver bullet, but whatever the short term realities are, it will provide a whole new gamut of technological advancements.”
Get in touch to find out how you can futureproof your asset and navigate the increasingly challenging world of in-building connectivity.

Rob Prescott – OBI
0113 320 4717

Olly Stainsby – OBI
0113 320 4717

Rory Young – WiredScore
07738 332 807

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