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What is enhanced mobile broadband?

Understanding a key characteristic of 5G networks and what it means for business

Hand holding up cell phone

Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), also known as extreme mobile broadband, is one of the three defining characteristics of 5G—the other two being massive capacity and ultra-low latency. With throughput speeds that could eventually be as much as 20 Gbps, when millimeter wave (mmW) frequencies are available, eMBB will enable new data-driven experiences requiring high data rates, resulting in a faster and better user experience. But the benefits of eMBB go beyond just faster download speeds and provide new opportunities and an increasingly seamless user experience.

To understand the applications of eMBB, here are three use cases to consider.

Enhancing the fan experience

In public venues like stadiums and arenas where thousands of fans are connecting to the internet and sharing their experience through applications on their mobile devices, the demand for connectivity and bandwidth is growing exponentially.

eMBB can handle “hot spot” situations like these, providing users with enhanced broadband access in densely populated areas, both indoors and outdoors. Not only will fans enjoy seamless connectivity, but also event organizers will have new possibilities to create immersive fan experiences. Enhanced video capabilities combined with improved network capacity could provide fans with real-time mobile access to instant replays and behind-the-scenes videos content, typically reserved for viewers at home. It will also enable fans to upload video of their stadium experience to social media in real-time, sharing it beyond the stadium to their friends and family.

Stadium and event space owners and operators, professional sports franchises, media companies and more should be able to increase attendance, revenues and audience loyalty with 5G-enabled fan experiences.

Smarter, safer cities

eMBB will eventually work across more connected devices than smartphones, which will mean exciting new developments for smarter cities. Consider, for example, how municipalities could improve safety and security by placing AR/VR-enabled video devices in strategic locations that were previously not possible with older technology.

Monitoring traffic flow and connecting this feed to instant AI analysis could save valuable seconds when dispatching paramedics to a car accident. Police, tow trucks and other service vehicles including drones could also be simultaneously dispatched sooner, clearing the disturbance faster and returning the regular flow of traffic. And traffic signals could even be coordinated with the first responder vehicles to further reduce response times. Increases in data throughput combined with ultra-low latency will help make this possible for municipalities in the near term.

Untethered virtual experiences

In addition to enabling the consumption and sharing of multimedia content at scale and the deployment of big data applications for smart cities, eMBB will support key functions of our daily work life—and will do it wirelessly.

From commuters accessing cloud-based apps during their commute to work, to workers in the field communicating with the office, to an entire smart office where all devices are wirelessly and seamlessly connected, 5G will untether our work.

It will also enable applications for fully immersive VR and AR experiences, such as client and internal meetings. Imagine connecting to a meeting remotely with access to 360-degree video, lag-free interaction and even real-time translation for participants. Businesses will also be able to create new experiences to give clients a virtual walk-through of a design or concept. Or, for employees, VR simulated training can help raise the standard for company-wide best practices, having a positive effect on the company’s overall service delivers, safety and event regulatory compliance.

Wondering how to start preparing for 5G? Read about kickstarting your 5G mobility planning.