Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic pushing companies to make the shift to remote work before they were ready, many employees faced challenges resulting in IT troubleshooting headaches. For example, what happens when your internet goes down at home right before an important video conference call? Luckily, as a remote worker, there are ways to be prepared in the event you lose connection to the internet. That’s where 5G failover comes in.
The 5G failover lifeline
According to a recent online survey that focused on remote workers’ technology, 41% of executives stated their company lost business opportunities due to technical errors with video conferencing platforms.
Problems with connectivity can be easily mitigated through the use of 5G failover. When a businesses’ network fails, if equipped, it can switch to a cellular data backup on a 4G, 4G LTE, or 5G network to provide an uninterrupted connection.
Since today’s workforce is mostly remote, employees have found that their home networks weren’t as prepared as they thought, especially in regards to stability. However, there are products like these residential router modems from NETGEAR that house SIM cards for cellular data backups to prevent connectivity issues, similar to cellular failover for businesses. So, in the event your home ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) network goes down, you won’t notice your connection going offline, since the router modem’s cellular backup will have already kicked in.
Unfortunately, the only current limitation to these router modems is the use of 4G LTE, since 5G is still relatively new. We can expect to see 5G failover routers become more common in the coming years as the networking technology is widely adopted.
In the meantime, you can also use the mobile versions of today’s commonly-used video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which operate over a 5G network. Downloading one of these to your mobile devices such as an iPhone or Android ensures you have access on the go to your video conference meetings in the event you, like many, don’t have a cellular backup router.
Is 5G failover reliable, though?
Knowing that 5G can work for video conferencing and experiencing it are two different things, though. How would the audiovisual performance be over a 5G connection? Pretty great.
For starters, it’s important to understand that 5G has been touted as the “next-generation,” for mobile connectivity, and that statement isn’t an overstatement by any means. From a technical standpoint, 5G offers speeds that are several times faster than 4G and 4G LTE.
The typical download speed for 4G LTE ranges from 5-50/Mbps, whereas 5G speeds can range from 40-1,100/Mbps. Thinking about those statistics for a moment, this is a massive leap forward. For many years, those download speeds were only achievable through the use of wired or Wi-Fi networks in the home. This bodes extremely well for Zoom video conferencing calls since you only need about 1.5/Mbps for Zoom to operate a group call in 720p HD.
In that case, the audiovisual quality a user can expect from a Zoom conference over a 5G network on a mobile device would be Full 1080p HD. So, in the event your home or office network goes offline, you can switch to your mobile device’s 5G network and experience lightning-fast download speeds with excellent audiovisual quality.
So, what’s the bottom line for video calls?
It’s important to keep in mind that 5G is still in the beginning stages of implementation. To achieve those results, you need to have a 5G-capable device on a 5G-capable network, while paying for the 5G access plan from your mobile carrier.
In regards to 5G coverage, major networks such as Verizon and AT&T have made incredible progress towards expanding coverage across the U.S., but the best speeds for 5G are still found in major cities. This will continue to change as the networks mature and expand into more territories.
If all of the above criteria are met, early adopters of 5G technology will be thrilled with the experience and capabilities it offers. It can be a lifesaver when your main network fails in the office or the home, especially for video conferencing.