Impacts 5G on Cloud Services Adoption

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Cloud Service Adoption: 5G Impact

5G technology will positively impact worldwide adoption of cloud services through improved speed, reduced latency, and improved reliability. The requested information on each of the three ways is presented below.

Improved Speed

  • The 5G is expected to transform the network and communication industry by offering ultra-fast transmission speeds that can be as much as 100 times faster than the current 4G. Predictions show that it will have exceptional speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second per device. Such high speeds will have a profound impact on worldwide cloud services adoption.
  • Improved speeds associated with the 5G technology will make many cloud services that have been ‘watered down’ by slow speeds more appealing. High-speed connection offered by 5G could be the missing link that allows everyone, everywhere to shift to the cloud. Thus, 5G will attract more people to adopt cloud services because of the convenience it will offer with regard to ease of access.
  • The widespread roll-out of 5G technology will see accelerated adoption of mobile cloud applications in various industries, from healthcare to banking. Some cloud services and applications have exhibited reduced potential from their development stages. However, with 5G’s improvement on cloud availability through enhanced speed, such applications are expected to unleash their full potential.

Reduced Latency

  • Latency is the time taken by two devices on a network to connect. The 3G network had a latency of 100 milliseconds while 4G’s latency is approximately 30 milliseconds. However, 5G is expected to have a latency as low as 1 millisecond.
  • The low latency associated with 5G technology lowers the delay between command and response. Thus, communication between devices using 5G technology will be almost instantaneous.
  • 5G’s low latency will increase adoption of cloud services that require near real-time communication such as robotics. It will also facilitate opening of new business models that revolve around it, including elaborate internet of things (IoT) platforms. Overall, some cloud services that could not be fully utilized due to the high latency associated with the current network will be fully exploited with 5G technology.

Improved Reliability

  • Reliability is a measure of how well a network works without transmission failures or coverage gaps. 5G will have an ultra-high reliability that reaches 99.999% uptime.
  • Improved reliability will positively impact adoption of cloud services because providers will be able to reach and serve their customers with added ease. It will also offer them more options and features, thanks to 5G technology. Improved reliability will also enhance adoption of premium features of some cloud services. Such features are currently deemed unattractive due to the relatively low reliability of 4G.
  • Enhanced reliability will also increase adoption of cloud-based services and products. Increased use of such innovations in various industries will further accelerate cloud business investments.

Research Strategy

The three ways above were identified after extensively reviewing various credible sources focusing on 5G technology and cloud services. From our research, it is apparent that most benefits associated with 5G technology will be realized in the realm of cloud services. Thus, improved speed, low latency, and enhanced reliability will facilitate increased adoption of cloud services.
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Cloud Service Providers Using 5G Technology: Case Studies

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are two cloud service providers leveraging 5G technology in their operations. The requested information on their operations is presented below.

Amazon Web Services

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is leveraging 5G wireless network to help businesses download data from the cloud faster. The new service, known as Wavelength, is still being piloted in Chicago in partnership with Verizon. It embeds AWS compute and storage services at the edge of telecommunications providers’ 5G networks, thus providing seamless access to the breadth of AWS services in the region.
  • According to Amazon, Wavelength bears the potential to deliver single-digit millisecond latencies to users over 5G networks. By bringing AWS services to the edge of the 5G network, Wavelength helps minimize network hops and latency to connect to an application from a 5G device. The service delivers a consistent developer experience across various 5G networks around the globe, thus allowing users to develop the next generation of ultra-low latency applications using common AWS services, tools, and application programming interfaces (APIs).
  • AWS is collaborating with the leading telecommunication firms in the globe, including Vodafone, Verizon, KDDI, and SK Telecom to launch Wavelength in Europe, Japan, North America, and South Korea in 2020.
  • Wavelength will improve AWS’ performance by bringing the company’s computing services closer to customers. The company is also poised to improve its customers’ satisfaction owing to the flexibility, availability, and scalability offered by Wavelength.
  • The technology will address customers’ need for reduced time taken by their mobile devices to cross multiple network hops when connecting to applications. It addresses this need by bringing AWS services to the edge of 5G network, thus reducing the latency. Customers engaged in latency-sensitive uses such as smart cars and cities, autonomous industrial equipment, and internet of things (IoT) will also find this technology useful, as it will address the need for low latency in these activities.
  • Wavelength will have a positive impact on AWS’ profitability because it will increase the range of applications that developers can build and run on AWS resources. Thus, customers can use AWS resources more, which will generate more revenue for the company. It will also entice more customers because of its flexibility and scalability.

Microsoft Azure

  • Microsoft Azure is leveraging 5G technology through its strategic alliance with AT&T. The two companies have developed Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology, which combines Microsoft Azure’s cloud service with AT&T's network edge locations closer to customers. As a result, the AT&T’s software-defined and virtualized 5G core or Network Cloud is capable of delivering Azure’s services.
  • The technology will blend Microsoft Azure’s cloud capabilities with AT&T’s 5G and edge computing to create low latency between devices and the cloud. NEC’s preview versions will only be available to selected AT&T customers in Dallas, with projected launches in Los Angeles and Atlanta this year.
  • NEC will improve Microsoft Azure’s performance by providing the foundation and infrastructure for future innovations. It will also encourage use of Microsoft Azure’s services in edge locations closer to customers and devices. Thus, it will be possible to develop innovative solutions that are not possible now.
  • Microsoft Azure will also expand its cloud services into AT&T’s network.
  • NEC will address gaming customers’ desire for real-time interaction between gamers using high speed 5G-connected devices and Microsoft Azure’s services available at network edge locations. Customers engaged in latency-intensive industry applications such as fleet management will attain the reachability and edge required by using this technology because of its real-time computation capability.
  • The technology is expected to improve Microsoft Azure’s profitability by enlarging its client base once it expands its services into AT&T’s extensive network. NEC will also create a perfect environment for accelerated utilization of Microsoft Azure’s services. A larger client base and improved service demand will have a positive influence on the company’s profitability.

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