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What Is 5G And How Will It Impact Commercial Real Estate?

BOMA/GLA Education
5G Internet

Every day, we hear that 5G is coming and will change our lives. But what exactly is 5G, and how will it impact commercial real estate?

5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks and is expected to be one of the fastest wireless technologies ever created. With speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G is set to be as much as 100 times faster than 4G, our current broadband system.

According to JLL, network providers are gradually rolling out 5G in the US, but other countries such as Korea have already implemented the technology. Through major investments in infrastructure, the city of Seoul is laying the foundation for the use of autonomous vehicles and real-time video conferencing for surgeons in different countries.

How will 5G benefit CRE operations?

The aim of 5G is to create a fully-connected Internet of Things (IoT), where computers embedded in everyday objects can send and receive data.

According to Robert Franch, Chief Technology Officer, Cushman & Wakefield, the use of sensors around commercial buildings will allow for continuous monitoring, and the analysis of data to improve the tenant experience.

For instance, 5G will speed the use of no-wait security features like biometrics for easy building access, and intuitive technology that helps locate bathrooms and provides Wi-Fi passwords.

Additionally, 5G will significantly improve the on-boarding process for employees. Training software will be able to track where employees are in real-time on their training journey. From background checks to logistics, onboarding a new employee could be seamless.

Moreover, according to Adam Stanley, CIO and Chief Digital Officer, Cushman & Wakefield, online audio calls, video conferencing, cloud-based collaboration, and other activities that consume a lot of data should become much faster. Further, “Remote employees should feel more connected to their on-premise peers – and there will be an increase in the number of fully distributed workforces.” (“5G is Here”, The Edge Magazine, v4, Cushman & Wakefield).

Real estate executives agree that 5G creates the potential for hundreds of new applications in commercial buildings. Many are yet to be identified. But with the COVID-19 pandemic and other changes in how companies operate, 5G technology will allow for a seamless work experience whether in a corporate office, a satellite workspace, or from home.

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