5G is coming—a technology that has more misinformation around it than anything I’ve seen before. Much of this bad data is focused on cloud computing.
The reality is that it will take a while to roll out 5G. We need to upgrade our phones, cell towers, network devices, and more, and that won’t happen overnight. Moreover, the dollars it will require won’t be easily extracted from most enterprises.
Of course, there are many predictions about how cloud computing will change in a 5G world, most of which are dead wrong. Tech pundits are calling for 5G to light edge computing on fire and take share away from the public clouds. Both will grow rapidly.
Any technology change, including 5G, will transform the use of other technologies along with cloud computing. However, what is likely to change is not as disruptive as most 5G fanboys think. Here are two ways 5G will change cloud computing:
First, cloud access will spread everywhere. We have bandwidth deserts out there in mostly rural, less populated areas, where access to the Internet is nonexistent or sub-10Gbps down, with 1Gbps up. You can’t do much with that as a business connected to an IaaS cloud provider; data transfer latency will just be too high. 5G holds the promise of eliminating bandwidth deserts and freeing business now in rural, underserved areas to leverage cloud computing, and thus expand the cloud computing market with 5G.
Second, we’ll gain more secure data distribution outside of public clouds. Many enterprises push back on cloud computing, not trusting their data in public clouds. Attempting to keep the data on-premises while the processing exists in the public cloud is typically a bad idea, considering the existing latency. Well, if 5G’s lack of latency is to be believed, then the ability to place data outside of the cloud and have it work and play well with processing and data residing in the cloud will actually be workable. Those who have been on the fence regarding the use of public clouds can finally move into the cloud, leaving their data where it is.
Will 5G change our lives? If you believe the press, you may agree. Hype aside, it will drive a few changes for the better, and the cloud will see more advantages than disadvantages.