According to Strategy Analytics, TV and video delivery is likely to become a core capability of next generation 5G wireless services. Recent demonstrations have suggested that 5G will support 1 Gbps data throughput rates. Combining 5G with other networking enhancements and technologies would allow operators to support TV-equivalent services which could eat into the $500 billion global TV and video market currently served by cable, satellite, IPTV and terrestrial broadcast service providers.
"Data rates get the headlines, but other network technologies will also make or break the business case for 5G TV services," said Sue Rudd, SA's director, service provider analysis. "The efficiency of the end-to-end network will determine whether 5G TV is possible, but we have seen enough from early demonstrations by operators like Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, AT&T and BT to suggest that it will arrive sooner or later in many parts of the world."
The research house says the number of households and devices supported by a 5G TV service within any cell will make or break the 5G TV business case. The number of termination locations can be increased by a factor of three or more by deploying several network enhancements that deliver 'trunking' efficiency in the radio access network (RAN). These include MIMO and beamforming for optimal spectrum use, virtualization of cell sites, dynamic throughput over backhaul networks, and network slicing to guarantee data rates to the household.
"Television is already being transformed by new digital services like Netflix and Amazon," said Michael Goodman, director, TV and media strategies. "The arrival of 5G TV wireless services could herald another wave of TV disruption through the 2020s and beyond."
"The emergence of 5G TV would represent a further stage in the convergence of media and communications, and wireless and fixed services," said David Mercer, VP and principal analyst. "It would also raise important questions relating to the roles of different ecosystem players and the future structure of the media value chain."