Pace is the pin-up word in today’s world. Everything should be speedy, efficient, clear with minimum latency time. And it won’t be inappropriate to say that 5G or 5th Generation best represents that. 5G, the much anticipated future network aims at higher capacity communication network which is faster, denser and provides ultra-high-definition output. In short, better implementation of the Internet of Things.
Going by the predictions, there would be 550 million 5G subscriptions by 2022 and 10% of the world population would be covered by 5G networks. 1
5G in Television and Media
Who can deny the impact 4G has made on media and broadcasting industry? It became the trigger point of television’s changing landscape where it brought television viewing from a television set or our computers to individual mobile interface. It paved the way for huge consumption of mobile videos and helped expand the market for everything be it films, music, news, television shows, or any other form of video content.
5G network aims to surpass 4G standards manifolds in terms of data bandwidth, frequency, technology supremacy, high-quality streaming and reduced network congestion.
- Disruptions Foreseen in Broadcast Industry
While 5G will provide us world class viewing experience, it could also open the door for some serious industry disruption.
- Innovative Content
Content consumption will bear a major impact due to huge technical improvements in terms of speed and quality. Consumers will enjoy huge improvements with a significant decrease in download and upload speeds.
Almost zero latency is surely going to feed the impatient DNA of the viewers’. This will also help narrow the gap between quality and speed and live streaming of content and virtual reality content will see an uprise in the market forcing its creators for more innovative, original and creative content.
- Value Chain Effects
The Internet has made ‘Content its King’ keeping major profit margins towards the content innovators. The onset of 5G is predicted to divert the route towards distributors forcing content providers to pay more for efficient streaming of their content.
- Consumption Effects
Streaming content has been a winner to date with low costs and inferior technology being the key reasons. 5G bringing a major change in download speed bringing it down to microseconds will make downloaded content more feasible and popular in coming times.2
But there are two sides to a coin. On one hand, it provides an ideal environment for television broadcast with its top class features like enhanced network speed and technology advancements, it also hints at becoming a threat to the standard ways with which we have watched content until now through cable, satellite, IPTV and broadcast providers, market of which is approximately $500 billion. 3
Some of the challenges 5G would bring in are :
- Out of the box, content has to be offered to leverage the huge shift from contemporary to mobility.
- Data rates would be something to watch out for as all advancements lead to increase in costs.
- Stability and consistency will play a major role in the network’s success keeping in mind the continuous increase in the number of users.
- The efficiency of end-to-end providence will determine the real-time feasibility of 5G network.
- Huge investments would be required to upgrade the technology and meet 5G standards.
It is too soon to comment or anticipate the future of 5G Network. If we look backward, each generation which has come up has aimed at fixing flaws of its predecessors. First mobile network in 1980’s was followed by GSM in 1990. 3G arrived at the onset of the century and LTE rolled out in 2010. 4G was introduced to make consuming data a less unpleasant experience. The work is still in progress and if we go by statistics, 4G is yet to be even launched in various parts of the country.
But the trail seems to break here. It seems difficult to think of any major challenge we can put across 5G which is worth such huge infrastructural investments and changes. Right now, 5G is only a concept whose standards have yet to be established. It is likely to take few years to finalize the whole 5G structure. The foundations are being laid with lots of funding coming from EU, South Korea, US, and the UK to build up 5G research facility.
The momentum is surely building up. A super-fast, super-efficient wireless network is all set to make its mark in the media world by 2020. It promises to provide us the ability to watch television content over a 5G network connection rather than fixed broadband, cable or satellite in its best form. In fact, the conjunction of speed and technological advancements can create an ideal environment for the television market.
The industry knows what it wants. Internet of things, telehealth systems, smart city infrastructure are some of the features set to figure in 5G thinking. What finally forms a part of 5G spectrum, only coming years would tell. 4