5G Wireless Service Becomes Real

(Originally posted on 12/3/2017)

Executive Summary:

  • Verizon announces plan to launch 5G in 5 cities by end of 2018
  • 5G will allow low latency mass adoption of next-gen internet tech:
    • media on demand
    • self-driving cars
    • VR/AR
    • drones
    • IOT
    • smart cities
    • smart grids

What it Means:

  • Digital content becomes more accessible to all
  • Increases important of net neutrality ruling – 5G to heighten digital content barrier to entry to companies that cannot pay for fast lane access


Verizon Announces Plans for 5G Service

Verizon says it will have 5G service in five cities by the end of next year (The Verge) – arguably the first step to 5G ubiquity in the US which according to Wired, should be around 2020.

5G is expected to fuel low latency mass adoption of next age internet technologies such as:

  • media on demand
  • self-driving cars
  • virtual and augmented reality
  • delivery drones
  • interconnected home devices
  • smart cities (WSJ)
  • smart grids (SmartGrid)

This whitepaper from Ericsson gives a comprehensive overview of the technology and the roadmap to making it accessible.

What This Means for Media Companies:

Higher speed internet means video content can be consumed even more easily…as long as the content is offered in the 5G fast lane.

The 5G network could make the implications of repealing net neutrality even more significant. A faster network for those that can afford to access it is a higher barrier to entry for those who cannot.

Other 5G enabling technologies such as self-driving cars and AR/VR are relevant to the media industry due to the impact they’ll have on the supply of viewer attention i.e., self-driving cars will increase the amount of viewer attention available to consume content and AR/VR will create new types of content to consume viewer attention.

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