5G is coming soon to an area near you. Is your charity ready for its roll out?
You may have heard of the roll out of 5G. Tech wizards are eagerly awaiting the network upgrade in their areas, while many are already using the new technology.
Some charities and non-profits are still in the dark on the basic facts and benefits of 5G, despite the national rollout beginning in 2019.
We attempt to demystify 5G and explain what charities can come to expect over the next few years.
5G is the new generation of wireless technology.
Evolving from 4G, 5G connectivity is much faster. The upgraded technology also has greater connectivity. Practically, this means that the UK’s existing towers and hardware will need to be upgraded to enable 5G.
Aside from the general benefits of 5G, charities can prepare by checking out what specific applications work best. The first point to understand is when the rollout is coming to your location.
Searching by postcode, the 5G coverage checker is a good place to start as charities can then earmark dates. Next, charities should think about how 5G benefits apply to activities they are currently doing, or, have in the pipeline.
With all digital technology, we advocate planning and strategy. To plan for 5G, revisit your charity’s digital strategy. In brief, it’s important for charity digital leaders to make sense of what the technology means for each team, and also, what the target aims are.
Because 5G will enable more ‘smart’ devices, it’s possible that your entire charity will work with smart tech. This means that wired devices, infrastructure, and other types of connecting hardware and software won’t be relied on.
Charities can start investing in smart wireless technology. 5G capable smart phones and devices will likely top the list of things to purchase.
With the increasing use of smart devices, charities also should prepare to protect their remote working environments with cybersecurity measures.
The journey to 5G for charities needs to be taken together. For charity digital leaders, this means taking the time to explain and educate team members on 5G. Like any new technology, charity leaders will need to explain how the technology works and supports charity aims.
It is time to start preparing. For charities on shoestring budget, taking charge of what investment looks like now is part of that plan. Charity digital leaders can already cost out the financing of 5G compatible devices, infrastructure upgrades, and training.
When the time comes, even those with limited funds can come out ahead with good financial planning.
There are clear benefits to using 5G. For charities, 5G will likely enhance remote working and collaboration opportunities. TechSoup summarises the communication benefits in two ways.
First, for charities with staff working in remote areas, staff that are on-the-go seeing beneficiaries, or staff working from home, 5G can do a lot. Staff will be able to download and upload at speed and make reliable video calls from outside the office.
Second, 5G can enhance reach. 5G can help charities tap into mobile phone use even further. Tailoring content for 5G like video, augmented reality, gaming, and AI will give charities a real advantage.
For those who still feel uncertain about the type of content that will soon be more accessible, check out Charity:water’s immersive storytelling.
As the rollout of 5G continues across the country, charities based in cities will get opportunities to connect with rural areas. Pilot projects are already underway to test out how 5G will improve outreach.
As covered earlier by Charity Digital, the Rural Connected Communities projects offers funding for charities with 5G aims in the countryside. This could spell opportunity for service delivery innovation, environmental monitoring and other new ways of doing things.