What is 5G and What Does it Mean for Your Business?
Dan: In studio with me I have the Bit Wizards guys for the Tip Of The Wand. Let's see, we have Vince Mayfield. And Sam, what is your last name?
Sam Blowes: My last name is Blowes. I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly.
Dan: That sounds good to me.
Sam Blowes: If not, I got a lot of trouble in school growing up for no reason, if that isn't how it's pronounced.
Dan: I can imagine that would get you a lot of trouble if you'd had been in the military, because they go by your last name and only your last name.
Sam Blowes: Well at least-
Dan: It would've been interesting.
Sam Blowes: At least they don't pick on people in the military, like in basic training or anything.
Dan: Oh yes, they do. A lot.
Vince Mayfield: I've experienced that.
Dan: Yeah. You know what I'm talking about, Vince.
Vince Mayfield: I do.
Dan: Yeah, that would have been like, can I change my name to Smith?
Sam Blowes: It's Sam. Just Sam. That's it.
Dan: Only Sam. So did you guys have a good day off yesterday or did you take the day off?
Vince Mayfield: Well, I worked part of the day and then I spent some time with my family, so.
Dan: Oh good. Hey just curious, do you guys follow football?
Vince Mayfield: Absolutely.
Dan: Do you? So, who's going to win the Superbowl? Who do you think it'll be? Do you think the 49ers are going to have an overwhelming defense?
Vince Mayfield: Well, it's definitely not going to be the Green Bay Packers.
Dan: And I was actually rooting for them.
Vince Mayfield: Actually, I'm going to have to root for the Kansas City Chiefs because the incoming chair, Heather Ruiz, that is her team and she is excited, and she went out and she bought a ticket this weekend to go to the Superbowl. And so I'm pulling for her to have them win. 49ers are great, but I'm just kind of rooting for Heather and her team.
Dan: Rooting for the underdog. I think they're probably going to come in as the underdog, don't you? Kansas City?
Vince Mayfield: Oh, I think so. Yeah.
Dan: All right, well guys, let's just get right to it, shall we? I say yes.
Announcer: Bit Wizards, bits and bytes.
Vince Mayfield: Well, it's interesting, everybody... We talked a little bit last week about how privacy and other things are kind of coming into play. An interesting thing is that Amazon is now looking at going without cash, without plastic, without your phone, and allowing you to basically use your hand, and tie your hand to your payment process, to link your credit card information, so that you can check out without cash.
Dan: So that's the most secure way. Probably is a very secure way. What do you think?
Vince Mayfield: Well, it's biometric and there's some really good data that says that World Pay, or 2019 Global Payment Report says that the use of mobile payments is forecasted to increase by 28% in 2022, and it's going to surpass credit cards and cash. The younger generation is looking at Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Google Wallet, those types of things. And cash payments are expected to be less common.
Sam Blowes: Yeah, I use it all the time. So I have Apple Pay on my watch and on my phone and I use it all the time. In fact, yesterday after church, my wife took my daughters to Target to go shopping and I got home and I saw that her wallet was on the table. And I texted my wife and she said, " Oh man, yeah, bring me my wallet." So I drove down to Target and when I got there she was already checking out, just using her phone to pay for all the stuff that they had bought while they were at Target. She forgot her wallet and was able to buy it still.
Dan: I'm an old person I guess, because I don't do any of that. I still use a credit card or cash.
Vince Mayfield: I just want to say, Sam, sucker. You got pulled in to go shopping with your wife.
Sam Blowes: **crosstalk** get me to go shopping one way or another.
Dan: Oh, oh. Forgot my wallet. Come on down.
Vince Mayfield: She knew that Apple Pay was there.
Sam Blowes: That's right. But both of those methods of Apple Pay use... There are three different ways Apple Pay verifies that it's you. On the watch it's checking your heartbeat so that it knows that it is you from the heart rate sensor.
Dan: You're kidding.
Vince Mayfield: And so it knows if it's been disconnected from you at any point since the last time you signed in on your phone. On the newer phones it uses your face to recognize that it's you and then pay for your goods, and on some of the older phones it uses your thumbprint. So these biometric methods. Now Amazon saying they can even just use your hand print as it's only source of what it needs-
Dan: What are they going to do a hand print though? How are you going to get your whole hand on a screen? They have a different way to do that?
Vince Mayfield: I think they're looking at a different biometric way of doing that. They're planning to sort of pitch that in coffee shops and fast food restaurants and other merchants that do a lot of repeat business with their customers. And I suspect what they will do is some sort of a touch screen reader type thing where you lay your hand on there.
Sam Blowes: Yep.
Dan: Your fingerprints, it's only on your fingertips. Maybe they're looking at something like that.
Vince Mayfield: Well, I mean, your hand print is unique across the board along with your fingers, the lines that are on there, how they're done, I mean that is unique.
Sam Blowes: And even on the fingerprint readers, they're not actually reading your fingerprint. They're reading the blood vessels directly underneath that first layer of skin because that's more unique and a lot easier for them to be able to detect. And I think I was reading in the news, you just get a six, six, six tattooed on your hand or your forehead. Oh wait, no, that wasn't the news, that was in the Bible. But either way you'll be able to pay with biometric.
Dan: The devil made me do it.
Vince Mayfield: The interesting thing about this to tie it back to small and medium business. I mean, there's some strong reasons why you may want to do this for small and medium business. One is it's going to boost the checkout efficiency and 43% of internet users would rather scan and go rather than waiting to checkout. This is why they have mobile pickup and things like that, that are at Starbucks. The other thing is, is that it makes your accounting easier to manage. When your business deals with cash, you literally have to count every penny. And when a register comes up short, you got to go through and figure out why. But with mobile and digital payments, every transaction's automatically tracked. It's recorded and it means for less room and error on your part and less time manually taking and recording tractions. But I think the biggest thing is, is that it improves cash flow because you get real-time data on the cash flow of your business. And what's going on help you better to make on the spot decisions when things are going on. And then the last reason is, it reduces risks. Keeping cash on hand increases the theft and risk of criminals. And also you don't have to worry about being robbed by your own employees by having them take it from the register. So there's a lot of reasons to do this.
Dan: There's a lot of places that don't like to take cash for that reason in particular. They prefer not to have cash. And with the credit cards, I know credit cards are usually fairly secure, but not really that much secure because that little security code on the very back, if everybody's asking for that on the internet, who's to say that doesn't get floated around, as well? So, I would think with your thumbprint or your hand print or even your eye, that's got to be more unique to you because anybody could grab your credit card information and process it. Or they can't do it with your information.
Vince Mayfield: Well, there's a lot of things like the payment card industry that's out there that has a set of standards that says what they're allowed to collect and what they're not allowed to collect in terms of your information. A lot of times when you use websites and things like that, they're not actually physically storing your credit card data. It's encrypted point to point between you and the physical bank. And some of the things, where they get lackadaisical is when they have trouble doing what they call verification systems, like address verification. It's the people that use the older tech. This is why keeping up with the latest tech is really important. And to point back to this, at Bit Wizards, we really try to work with our clients to make sure that they judiciously choose when it comes to their technology investment. Not just technology for technology sake, but to meet a business purpose. And so as part of that, we have a virtual CIO service. And so every quarter we go in and we evaluate their business, and we look out what's it going to look like six months, a year, two years, three years down the road. And we try to help them plan and have a planning process just like it's done in your large enterprises.
Dan: There must be a lot to this security as far as when you're talking cash flow, as far as getting money into your business you're selling or whatever the case may be, to have it all secure. Now every time I purchase something, it always talks about this secure line you're talking about. But a lot of us layman don't even know what that means. All we hope for is that our information doesn't get taken.
Sam Blowes: Right.
Vince Mayfield: Yeah. I mean, you look for certain things like making sure that the entity that you're working with is complying with the payment card industry. I typically only go to reputable sites to make sure, the ones that I know that have been around. If it's a new site, somebody I've never purchased from, I'm very cautious about what I put in there. I look at how the site may be constructed. If they're linking me out to four or five different places then I typically don't buy from them.
Dan: Yeah. And with a credit card, I think we've talked about this before, with a credit card at least you can dispute that sort of thing. When it's a debit card, you're in kind of a little trouble once they clean out your account.
Vince Mayfield: Yeah.
Sam Blowes: Yeah. That's dangerous.
Dan: The info for people that are thinking about credit card versus debit card when they're purchasing on the internet. And like you said, they're not supposed to just store your information but there are some, if you have a payment taken out on a regular basis, sometimes they store that information, but it may not be all that secure.
Vince Mayfield: Well, they don't necessarily store it there at the merchant. Most of the times that's actually stored at the physical bank, and they set up a transaction where they can go back in and say, " Hey bank, recharge this specific one." And there's different levels in the payment card industry where they allow you to do certain things and they're leveled like one, two, three and four. And at each different level, it says what each payment processor's required to do, what each merchant is required to do when they do that. And the levels of security are higher, the more the larger volumes of transaction, things like that.
Dan: So you at Bit Wizards if you're dealing with those companies, you know what levels are going to be at and you set them up for that.
Vince Mayfield: Yeah, we help educate our clients on those types of things. If payments and things like that are something that they want to understand or know about, then we'll take the time and help them understand that, or help them with their point of sales systems or things like that, that they may need to do in order to remain compliant themselves. And then also ensuring that they're secure with their own IT systems.
Dan: Sounds like you guys got that one under wraps.
Announcer: Bit Wizards. What's up our sleeve?
Dan: What is up your sleeve? You have a sweatshirt on. What's up there?
Vince Mayfield: Well, I think what we wanted to talk about is about 5G is coming. It's the next generation or fifth generation of cellular technology, and like all things, we need it faster and we need more data to be able to go through, which is important. But I think this is really a generational shift. Now I don't want to confuse you because AT&T has said they've already released the 5G. They really haven't yet because the 5G phones are not out there yet. They've got sort of the transition, they call it 5G, and then there'll be 5G plus, and each one of the individual vendors will do that.
Sam Blowes: And I think that's a good clarification point because you're going to see in the news more and more, especially on the tech news, 5G this, it's the next wave, it's the next big thing. And it's hard I think for a lot of people to even understand what does that mean? Why do we have 4G? Why is LTE in the middle? And the G on there is really just the generation. As they come out with the next generation of technology. So, when cell phones first started, they were big clunky things and the reason why is because they had huge antennas in them with huge batteries because the cell towers were so far apart from each other that to keep a strong signal, you had to... Even to be able to make a call, you had to have this big radio in your pocket kind of thing. Then the cell companies figured out that the carrier wave, the little signal that goes from your phone to the tower just says, " I'm here, I'm here." There was enough room on that wave that they could put 140 characters of text in there and that's where text messaging came from. Before there was any data, there was text messaging, because they were just piggybacking on the wave for the radio signal from your phone to the tower. And they said, " Well, if we could do this, what if we could send pictures over text as well," but now we need better data rates. And so that's where the technology started. First of all was edge network, which is very, very, very slow network. And then they came out with a 3G. It was a big deal because Apple even revamped their iPhone, the second generation of iPhone and called it the 3G iPhone because it was now able to take advantage. But they had to put new radio chips in all of the phones to take advantage of these new radio towers all around us. And as you'll see, the towers are getting closer and closer. There are radio cell towers everywhere now, and so that means our phones can get smaller and smaller. And then we went from 3G to 4G and then the next step, which was sort of a little bit, it's the same 4G technology, but they really honed it in, is LTE. And so most of us have LTE now. I remember when it came to Destin, and it popped up on my AT&T phone, and I freaked out because it had LTE for about 30 seconds, then it disappeared, because they were testing out that technology. And now we're all very comfortable with that. 5G is the next wave or the next standard that's going to come out for our cell phones to be always connected to the internet.
Vince Mayfield: And one of the great things about 5G is it is 10 to a hundred times faster than your typical cellular connection. It's even faster than anything that you can get in a fiber optic cable that might go into your home or business. But the other, and what that means is, is that in optimal conditions you'd be able to download a whole season's worth of Stranger Things in just seconds. And one of the other key benefits is that the wave technology that they're using to transmit the data back and forth, it has low latency. So latency is the time from when I push a button and it hits something on the internet and then is able to come back to me. All right? The more latent something is. Well now we're talking about getting it down to latency around a millisecond to a second. And that is important because of all the things that we're talking about doing like autonomous cars, autonomous trucks, that's fast enough speed that these things could be two cars driving down the road that are autonomous, could be talking to each other in real-time, negotiating a lane switch or something of that nature.
Sam Blowes: That's a really big deal.
Sam Blowes: Sound travels around six, seven milliseconds is how sound travels. So now this internet connection between devices like smart cars that are driving themselves, will actually be able to travel faster than the speed of sound for them to be able to communicate with each other, which is imperative. Right now your internet connection at home, that latency is probably around 70 to 90 milliseconds, and that's pretty standard. That's a good internet. When your internet feels like it's running really slow and just laggy and you do a speed test and everything's fine, but it still just feels slow, there's a good chance your latency is around 150-200 milliseconds. And so it's just taking that long for the signal to get there and then come back again and get there and come back again. When they drop that down to... I mean, a single millisecond is an insanely fast amount of time to get a response back from another network device.
Dan: That's just absolutely no delay.
Sam Blowes: Right. Absolutely none. So they will be able to... So traffic would be able to talk to itself in real-time.
Dan: Yeah. You're talking autonomous, then that has to happen or there could be an accident.
Sam Blowes: Absolutely.
Vince Mayfield: Yeah, absolutely. And the 5G network was specifically built to handle the equipment that was used by businesses such as farm equipment or ATMs and beyond the speed, it's designed to work on differently connected products that don't need a constant connection. You've heard about IOT or the internet of things. There's lots of sensors out there. We talked about the sensors in your home and things like that. And the key thing about that these low power scanners are intended to work on the same battery for 10 years and be able to periodically send data. And so that's really critical in the way that they've been able to design this, because it uses a low amount of power, it doesn't take a lot of time. So, it's kind of instant on. Send a temperature. Send a temperature. Right? That's a little piece of information that goes across and it needs to kind of transmit that. It might be humidity, it might be temperature, it might be something that you need to order new milk out of your refrigerator because it's detecting you're low on milk. Those types of things.
Dan: That's just crazy. To me, that's just crazy. That's all. But you know what really kind of bugs me about that a little bit is, all of a sudden you have all this information, like your refrigerator, your house, and everything, and you're able to talk to that. When somebody hacks into that, and eventually somebody will be able to hack into that. How do you get back out of that and reintroduce it so the hacker's gone but you're back safe again? Is that a big process?
Vince Mayfield: Well, it is and with the new technology coming out, there's always going to be some holes. As they've done this, what they've done is they've increased the speed, they've decreased the latency, they've done a number of things. So this is going to introduce new problems. Whenever you bring in new technology, there are new problems. So, that means that they're going to have to enhance and revamp security. To answer your question, yeah, it is problematic. I mean, I'll have to tell ya, you know, there was, there was a picture put out there on the web where somebody had tied in one of the refrigerators and the main picture on the page where they had the screen where it was supposed to be showing you what was in there, somebody tied it into a porn site right in the middle of Lowes. So yes, those things can happen. But here's the deal. Because they can happen doesn't necessarily mean that we shouldn't adopt the technology. What it means is it's going to get better and it improves our lives. And the whole idea behind some of this is to make it so that there's certain decisions that we shouldn't have to make every day. We can move on and do things that have higher value or more important like spend time with our children or work a little bit harder. Whatever it is that floats your boat there, that would be the things that you would want to do versus, heck, I need to go run to the store and remember. It automatically knows that I need milk and it will order it for me based upon the parameters that I set up. And then the milk arrives at my house and it goes from there.
Dan: Oh, don't get me wrong. I think the technology is wonderful. I always look on the other side of, because people get hacked and things of that... Worriers, how safe is it? Because I don't know, maybe I'm kind of a one of those people that are worried about security all the time because you hear about people getting hacked into and all these crazy things that happen. Maybe it's a very small percentage but that small percentage gets blown out all over the place on the media.
Vince Mayfield: Well, rest assured, there are people that are working on this hat in hand with the folks in the cellular networks, security experts that are working on this, to make sure that this is secure. I mean think about it, as this ties into all these sensors around the United States and even globally, airplanes that are flying, sending back telemetry data and information in real-time, things that only the military used to do. Now we can know a little bit about how an airplane engine is running in real-time, one of the airliners, and get troubleshooting information back. And that can be analyzed by big data and AI in order to give them back information and say, " Hey, you're about to have a compressor blade blow or something of that nature." Think about that. That pilot could divert and get in and land before it ever happens. So those things are going to... There are going to be some holes, there will be some things. I tend to try to think of these things from a positive attitude rather than a pessimistic attitude. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be vigilant. We definitely should be vigilant and that's why you need to come to somebody like Bit Wizards to seek out good solid technology advice. Not your second cousin, twice removed friend who thinks they know something about technology, but real professionals that live in this every single day.
Dan: Oh yeah, those ones you're talking about oftentimes are like, " I know how I can get it for free."
Sam Blowes: Yeah, right. Well, and we always, always approach everything with a security first perspective. We're always looking first, so what are the ramifications of this? What would somebody use to get around to circumvent the system? Fortunately with 5G, because it has more data and it's faster, that means they can encrypt it more heavily and not worry about the overhead of the encryption taking up a lot of that bandwidth. And security has gotten better. Those first cell phones, those big clunky ones you carried around in your suitcase, in the car, or however that worked. Those were analog. I had a boss who was a ham radio enthusiast and he accidentally tuned into his wife's cell phone conversation with her boyfriend one day, and that's how he discovered... On the early cell networks, he was able to listen in on phone calls. So, already we've come years and years of technology improvements on cell phones. But now with this extra data we can do higher end encryption, we can secure things even more, and at Bit Wizard we're always thinking security first. What are some just baseline policies we can implement to enable people to use this technology and use it safely.
Dan: And wives are a lot safer for that.
Sam Blowes: That's right.
Vince Mayfield: And one thing we definitely need to do, and I'll tie this back into something from your earlier show, is that we need to get on Congress because there are not a lot of laws, there's not a lot of regulation about how all this is done. And so, we all know that if you can get something, if you can file a lawsuit, get something where a judge makes a ruling, then that sort of becomes de facto law. Right? And so what we really need to do, Congress has not stayed up to date with technology and what's going on. And these are some of the thorny issues that we need to look at. Privacy is one of them. How we regulate some of this technology. Now I want free market and I want things to go forward, but there are some things, and I don't want it basically legislated or not legislated, but done from the bench. Because if you think about it, you really need some technical folks to kind of get in there and explain what the technology is, so that we can write the proper regulations that need to be done. I know that during the dot com boom, one of the things that they were doing were they were taking people that had computer science degrees at a school and saying, " Hey, now that you've got a computer science degree, let me send you back to law school so that you can come back and be a patent and a trademark attorney and you can help us, get things changed the way that we want it changed before Congress has a chance to catch up." And so-
Dan: Good point, good point.
Vince Mayfield: ... Let's, we really need to put, get on our Congress to make sure that they're staying tech savvy, make sure that they're thinking about where we are going in the future, and not messing around doing frivolous impeachments.
Sam Blowes: In fact, you're going to see 5G in the news a lot right now because there's a company out of China named Huawei that has a lot of connections to the Chinese government and they've developed a lot of the 5G technology, and they're going to nation states and saying, " Why don't you let us come in, we'll put in all of your 5G infrastructure for you," and the US has taken a strong stand against that. And so right now the CFO of Huawei is in prison in Canada waiting to be extradited here to the US, and China of course is fighting that. But it all comes down to this 5G fight where the US just told the UK just this week I think, that they would be crazy to allow China to come in and offer to give them all of this technology. And they're like, " You see that giant wooden horse at the gate? That's not as nice a gift as you think it is."
Dan: That's a good way to put it. You know guys, you've convinced me, because I was a little concerned, like we were talking about earlier, about people getting into your software, but you've explained it very good because like I said, there's laymen out there like me that wonder about that. And you guys have the technology and you can explain it and protect them a heck of a lot better when you implement all of the technology that you have to protect these folks when they're trying to go through the internet. Whether it's paying or whatever money that's being transferred or investments or whatever, how you can predict that, and how much better it is than I ever thought it was. That's some good explanations. I appreciate that a lot. All right.
Announcer: Bit Wizards, from the spell book.
Sam Blowes: So today's terminology in this part, from the spell book, we talk about geek speak terminology, a little tech factor. Today's one that you might see around quite a lot called single sign-on. Or it's often the acronym is just SSO, SAML SSO, which is a clever technology that says, " Hey, if you have a service and you need people to be able to sign in and out of it and you've got to keep track of all those username and passwords, just think about how much responsibility you're taking on yourself to keep track of that. And then what happens if you get hacked and all that information gets leaked to the world?" And so because of that, there are some other companies out there who say, " Well, we've already got a giant user base right now of usernames and passwords that we have secured. Why don't you let your application or your website or your eCommerce store or whatever it is, why don't you tie into ours, into our system? They'll sign in with their Microsoft Office account, for instance. And that way if they have a need to reset their passwords, you don't even know about their password because Office is still storing that. And the way the single sign-on works is it basically just sends a token that says, " Hey, you want to log in here? I'm going to shoot you over to Office 365 or Facebook or Google." There's a bunch of them out there. They sign you in. They say, " Yes, this is that person." That sends a token back to the original site or store or wherever that is and says, " Yes, this is the person we were expecting it to be." And it makes it a lot more secure for everybody. For the e-stores, the small businesses trying to do eCommerce, all the way up to the big guys. It makes it a lot more secure for everybody and for us as individuals, as end users. I now know I haven't had to give away all of my information to 500 different websites and all of these different stores, and I'm just waiting to see which one of them is going to be on the news next week along with another Equifax breach. Right? And so, instead I can trust that my information is stored in a single place and that is secured for that. And I sign in using my normal information, my email address and password for my email.
Vince Mayfield: Basically it's an electronic identity management system so that you have basically one password and username to rule them all. Right? And it's stored at a central location and it can be used by multiple different applications that exist out there, so that you only have one sign-on, and you only have one place that you have to come back. So you can disable that account from a central location and it locks them out of all the different applications that they're in, not just the ones that are on your network, but all the software as a service applications that you may use out there. Like say the one that most common people are going to talk about is Facebook, but it could be something like you're tied in with QuickBooks. Right? So you're not QuickBooks at your local location, but you're using QuickBooks in the cloud. So if I go and disable you, that means now that your QuickBooks in the cloud will be disabled and now you can keep them from coming out. Conversely, if I want to add a new employee and I want to add them to QuickBooks, then I add that new one time at my central location, and I grant them access to QuickBooks. Right? And so now you're able to do things beyond your local area network and into the things that we utilize that are in the cloud that also need some identity and security and protection. And typically you're talking the latest and greatest top line stuff. At Bit Wizards we use Microsoft's active directory to help our customers connect their Azure active directory. That is to connect their workforces to all the data and applications that they need from anywhere. And what we do is we'll go in and we'll evaluate each SAS application that your company utilizes, and ensure that your SAS provider provides the very best single sign-on practices, and then help you integrate that in within your identity management.
Sam Blowes: Absolutely.
Dan: Wow. That's pretty deep.
Sam Blowes: That might be a main topic for us here in one of the upcoming weeks.
Dan: It's good information.
Sam Blowes: We could talk about identity management for an organization so that you know what your employees have access to and don't have access to, and so that you can do governance on that easily.
Dan: Yeah. Now just to clarify, just real quickly, that's a sign-on one time, and then you go through everything else afterwards?
Sam Blowes: Yep.
Sam Blowes: You use that to sign you into all the different services.
Dan: That would be nice. That would be really nice. All right guys. Usually at this point of the segment you want to recognize one of your clients.
Sam Blowes: So I would like to recognize Real Joy Vacations. I was actually just out there yesterday helping them design their internet. They are a fantastic company. They're local. They're Real Joy Vacation located in Destin, but they have property real estate that they manage all up and down the Emerald Coast, and they do short term rental property management firm. Their forward thinking, fast-paced, and rapidly growing firm has embraced technology as a strategic enabler. So we want to thank them for choosing Bit Wizards to provide their managed IT services. We started with them when they first were starting out and now they are growing with hundreds and hundreds of properties under management, and we've grown with them and helped them using technology to get to where they are. So thank you to the whole hardworking team, to Micah and Jacob over there running the show, and to all of them that are working so hard and allowing for Bit Wizards to serve you. We love working with Real Joy.
Dan: Yeah, you guys got a lot of great clients all over the place, and obviously they like you guys or they wouldn't be sticking around you.
Sam Blowes: We only take the best ones.
Dan: Of course. Yeah, if not, you turn them into the best ones.
Sam Blowes: That's right.
Dan: Very cool. Again, we have Vincent and Sam here from Bit Wizards, Tip Of The Wand. Thank you guys for coming in.