The Implications of 5G - Part II

Posted February 27, 2019
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5G is coming and it is going to change pretty much everything.

First, you are going to find yourself with a super-fast connection pretty much all the time. No more looking for a HotSpot or a WiFi connection and password. You will be online, all the time.

The biggest selling point for 5G, at least from the perspective of the phone companies that are behind all of this is in download speed. 

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a fascinating interactive tool that allowed you to compare 5G download speeds to 4G and 3G. You can play with it here.

How Fast 5G Internet Feels

If you don't want to play with this, here's the short answer:

Downloading Fortnite for iOS will take you 24 seconds on 5G; 14 minutes on 4G and an atonishing 29 hours on 3G

Downloading Bird Box for offline viewing from Netflix would take you 3.7 seconds on 5G, 2 minutes on 4G and 45 minutes on 3G.

Downloading today's edition of The Wall Street Journal (it's their demo) would take you 25.6 milliseconds on 5G, 0.9 seconds on 4G and 18 seconds on 3G

So download speeds are going to get super fast.

For gamers, the issue of latency goes away.

But what does 5G mean for us, in the video/TV business?

According to Quaalcom CEO Steve Mollenkopf, the most revolutionary part of 5G is what he calls 'connectivity'.  With 5G, users wil be able to link up in video and in real time and talk to each other and see each other.

This is obviously of value to gamers and to people who love Twitch.

But this aspect has fascinating implications for the TV/video business.

Up until now, television has, for the most part, been passive. That is, most of what you watch on TV is stuff that was shot and edited a long time ago.  That episode of Jeopardy took place months ago, as did that episode of Guy Fiere.  That's how pretty much all of television, with a few exceptions, mostly in sports, works. 

What I would call Dead TV.

Old programs.

Even the videos you are watching on YouTube, for the most part, are also old videos - Dead Video. Dead Instagram.

This doesn't bother us... yet... because this is what we are used to - like buying records or DVDs in Tower Records didn't bother us until Spotify came along.  ThenTower Records and DVDs were dead.

(Yeah, I know.. vinyl).

The second fundamental aspect of conventional TV and video is that it is passive. They make it (or we make it) and everyone else watches it.


5G will change everything.

First, 5G will be participatory.  'Viewers' (and this is an archaic word in the world of 5G) will be able to participate in the programs in real time. You'll be able not just to see Guy Fiere, but to talk to him and ask questions, and he can ask you questions.

Second, TV and video will become social events. Up to now, video watching has been passive. You sit there and watch. That's the job. Watching. But with 5G, you'll not only be able to watch Guy and talk to him (and see him, of course) you'll also be able to talk to and see and interact with other people who are also watching and talking to Guy.

TV becomes social.

Video becomes social.

There are, as of now, (except for Peloton) no platforms for this rather extrordinary capability

But they are going to come.

It's open season now - not for coders and developers - how very 1980's - it' open season for Video Content Creators and Developers.

Wrap your heads around what 5G could do

and do it. 

It's 1985 and you're a young Bill Gates

It's 2002 and you're a young Jeff Bezos

See the opportunity?

Go for it! 


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