Each generation of new cellular technology has represented a significant step up from the previous one. From the first generation technology in the late 1980s that provided basic voice services, to the 2G that introduced the world to text, picture and MMS services, the 3G that introduced the mobile internet and paved the way for the smartphone, and the 4G that sped everything up and advanced mobile video streaming – each new generation has raised the bar considerably and changed what we understand to be mobile communications.
Arguably though, the change that 5G represents is the most significant of all. Its combination of speed – from a peak speed perspective it is projected up to 10x faster than Australian standard 4G – and lower latency to enable real time experiences means that it can become a ubiquitous technology that can impact our lives at all levels, from device capabilities at home or a venue to the way content is delivered from events and broadcasters to audiences. Devices are just the very start of a world composed of the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, Industry 4.0 production and more.
So, as we stand on the cusp of a new year, where are we with the 5G rollout? And, if we narrow our focus down to examine 5G’s role for media, what might the future bring?
No one needs to be reminded that China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets, but getting content in and out of the country can take some finesse. Making rights deals and signing contracts is only part of the job. You might have sold rights to the Chinese market, but can you reliably deliver that content into the country?
What’s required is someone on the ground who can be your infrastructure liaison; someone who understands your needs and is at home with the Chinese technology ecosystem as well.
In recent years 5G has very much been the talk of the technological town in general and increasingly in the media industry. People expect it to play a significant role in live production and contribution as well as distribution to consumers. There are trials and real-world 5G deployments and testing of media use cases going on behind the scenes. In this COVID-19 era, the role of 5G in remote production becomes even more relevant to cut production costs while complying with strict social distancing guidelines.
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“With this future-looking solution, Rohde & Schwarz is signalling the future of the over-the-air TV business. It’s now very easy to see a future where 5G broadcast co-exists with OTT to deliver a seamless blend of live and on-demand content direct to consumers. An Innovative end to end solution for 5G content delivery, the development of which is ahead of its competitors.”