5 is about to transform HR

The demands of the modern business world, where large number of organizations have global footprint and a large section of workforce are mobile working beyond limitations of  geography and time zone, is to have 4G technology enabled cloud computing, mobile business conferences, cost effective data calling services, web browsing at all hours from anywhere.

The next focus is now on 5G technology and it is expected that 5G networks will operate with mobile data speeds that will be 1000 times faster than 4G with low latency. This will increase the responsiveness and pave the way for a wide variety of new applications, and use cases. The target time for launching of 5G is 2020 and according to HUAWEI the Chinese telecom giant the 5G network will enable communication between people, processes, content, in an entirely flexible way. Network stability will enable people to have the experience of virtual office almost anywhere. This, in itself, will lead to a transformational shift in how workforce operates and could bring about a sea change in both organizational HR environment and policies as well and HR services in various industries.

At this stage, the 5G based application deployment is still some time away and needs to have the required infrastructure and spectrum capacity but all major telecom companies like AT&T, Verizon, Qualcomm are gearing up with full focus to bring it into use as early as 2019. It is expected that China will have the 5G technology commercially available by 2020 and India will most probably have it available by 2022.

Let us look at the industries which will see the most impact -:

Automotive Industries –

Connected cars, improved GPS, instant traffic and map updates.


Manufacturing Industries –

With 5G, devices will last longer and appliances will be greener as consumption of power will be lesser and batteries will last longer. The entire manufacturing industry could see remarkable change in terms of new models of factories and plants.



Delivery of products to market, faster production, remote monitoring and servicing through sensors.


Safety and Security –

Provision of greater security at lower cost and via connected devices using network slicing to provide secure priority communication during any emergency situation will be possible. Remote controlled vehicles will make is possible to reduce human presence in dangerous places, Hazardous jobs like that of miners will be benefited as they may be reached faster, it will make situations safer, more productive. This will lead to in safer wok environment for hazardous industries and faster disaster recovery.


Medical and Health care –

There will be improved delivery of medical aid services and provisions and facilities, remote surgery with cutting edge technology. This will benefit people in times of calamities.  Pollution and air quality in cities have become a menace and is the root cause of many terminal or chronic ailments. The 5G technology will help to control air quality in cities and faster update on smartphones on air quality and faster response to air quality hazards will be a reality.


Financial services –

This will get a boost in areas of mobile trading, blockchain technology based transactions in any financial transactions

Online retail Services –

The online shopping will provide customer greater access and options and experience.


Travel Industry –

The travel services be it local, domestic or international along with related services which sustains travel will see a phenomenal shift in terms of offerings and processes. There will be more expansive application of internet of things on 5G – smarter connected cities, with better, smarter, safer transport systems, route planning, traffic re-routing and congestion handling, better estimation of travel times, disaster handling, better patrolling of streets and thereby more efficient controlling of crimes.

Media and Gaming industry will get a boost through UHD technology and improved virtual reality, 360-degree content on mobile devices.

In the HR space –

the recruitment sector is estimating that the advent of 5G will create about 3 million jobs in the technical sector. There will be a huge demand for wide ranging cloud-based skills, security skills, machine learning skills, Big data skills and IOT design skills. There will be a huge demand for telecom engineers and electrical engineers. It will also trigger flexibility in workplace norms and work hours.

Workplace will no longer mean office workplace as it will be possible to work from anywhere. Likewise work hours will also span flexible hours during the 24 hour span. Anytime and Anyplace work will be the new norm. Customers will expect support and response faster and more instantly leading to a more continuous model of support. Needless to say, all this will necessitate new policies and changes in existing policies in the HR space. Employees and employers need to recognize the signs of time and gear up to adapt to it. One can conclude by stating that 5G will create one of the biggest disruptions in the coming years.


About the author:

Sonali Sengupta is a regular contributor on SOAIS blogs and brings to the table 25 years of HR domain & technology experience. She has led several large HR transformation programs and has seen HR evolve from a back-office, operations function to a strategic enabler of customer businesses. Sonali can be contacted at sonali.sengupta2001@gmail.com

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