5G subscriptions are forecast to reach 4.4 billion globally by 2027.
By then, the technology’s gigabit speeds, ultra-low latency, higher reliability and improved device connectivity will be transforming video and television transmission, local broadcast, live events and virtual reality (VR) opportunities, as well as spurring improvement and innovation in existing applications.
That’s a capsule summary of a new report from mobile and video tech research and development company InterDigital, written by market research firm Futuresource Consulting.
With a projected installed base of 3 billion by 2027, 5G-enabled smartphones and mobile devices will drive most initial 5G adoption and new video experiences. Smartphones are already used increasingly for consumption of video ranging from user-generated content to subscription video-on-demand, and that will accelerate with the improved 5G-enabled experience, note the authors.
“The challenge now is for industry to develop new audio-visual experiences that can happen ‘only on 5G,’” points out Simon Forrest, principal analyst at Futuresource.
Here are some key 5G-driven changes ahead for video, according to the report:
Game changer for broadcasting live video In addition to the leap forward in consistently excellent video quality, 5G should simplify camera signal delivery (eliminating complex combinations of wired and wireless technologies) and reduce video production costs.
Significant new opportunities for television delivery and viewership 5G will allow broadcasters and content providers to deliver even richer content to smartphones, tablets, TVs and other devices. Mobile networking standards now offer the potential for much greater delivery efficiencies than current TV broadcast technologies. LTE (long term evolution) broadcast capability is an integral part of the 5G standard, which offers an alternative to traditional satellite, cable and terrestrial television distribution, optimizing bandwidth usage and minimizing distribution costs.
Dramatic improvement in live-events transmission The COVID pandemic has alreadyforced a swift adoption of remote production techniques and accelerated the transition to IP networks. Broadcasters increasingly depend on wireless networks for everything from uploading news stories from the field to using LTE-enabled video cameras during live sporting events. 5G will extend the bandwidth and boost transmission reliability.
Enabling seamless, comfortable VR and metaverse experiences 5G’s reliable, low-latency handling of high-density data will be critical to avoiding the discomfort (even nausea) that can occur when users’ senses fall out of sync with what their body and brain expects them to be seeing, as they consume high levels of immersive sensory stimuli. In addition, linking future VR devices to cloud-based GPUs (graphics processing units) via 5G connections could help reduce hardware costs and improve device capability for consumers, with the potential to accelerate metaverse adoption.
Enabling ultra-high definition (UHD) and new services beyond video entertainment New compression software ("codecs" such as Versatile Video Coding/VVC and Neural Network Video Coding/DNNVC) is enabling more efficient, lower-cost delivery of rich UHD content to video providers, with lower latency to accommodate broadcasters’ needs.
The report, ‘Video Over 5G: New Networks, New Possibilities,” can be downloaded.