5G is here, and it represents a purpose-built technology designed and engineered to facilitate a groundbreaking radio access network enabling new and enhanced entertainment experiences. It provides the tera-scale access and massive throughput required to deliver higher resolutions to more devices while enabling ultra-low latency fabric for haptic VR, and bandwidth efficient 360° video streaming.
Streaming is now the standard for video entertainment. Unfortunately, content is typically streamed with a maximum resolution of 720p, while many viewers still receive their entertainment at even lower bitrates. The physical barrier to true UHD content delivery has been – and still is – bandwidth. Even if a 4K content representation is available on an origin server, the network heuristics for many viewers are too poor to consume that 4K rendition and the player throttles the stream with much lower video quality. A direct result of this has been limited investment by both the studios and programmers in UHD formats, and the Vendor Ecosystem in UHD capable devices.
5G will pave the way for true UHD, VR and AR content delivery at massive scale. It will expedite the development of new consumer devices, glasses and headsets that natively support UHD playback or serve as anchor devices for the primary screen within the home. It will provide seamless roaming entertainment; whether sitting in a coffee shop or travelling at speed in a connected car.
The first consumer introduction to 5G entertainment will most likely be based on Fixed Wireless Access leveraging 5G CPE and a 4K IP STB. This will be quickly followed by the introduction of an array of new mobile devices powering entertainment services both inside and outside the home. 5G infrastructure is also creating new alliances as operators and broadcasters eschew head-to-head competition in favour of collaboration.
Content contribution is already changing significantly. For sports leagues, professional news organizations and even citizen journalists, 5G provides the ability to simply “go live” reliably and securely from any connected device while leveraging the 5G edge to automate production workflows and provide brand safety. At the same time, 5G is driving a radical shift in human/machine interaction through immersive VR experiences and haptic manipulation, powering remote inspections, robotic maintenance and autonomous healthcare.
The network centric and highly distributed nature of 5G edge compute cloud provides streaming IP video awareness at any location within the mobile backhaul. This allows for the deployment of flexible workflows orchestrated from small disaggregated functions. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will be key components to not only manage and compose the edge fabric but provide bespoke personalized experiences for every viewer.
It also permits operators and rights holders to adopt the best practices and tenants associated with cloud infrastructure. Cloud is much more than technology, it’s a culture. A culture where open-source and devops are employed in an ethos of continuous integration and continuous delivery. It provides operators with the ability to quickly add value to the entertainment biome, while garnering fast feedback from deep customer insights. This results in a rapid innovation and instantaneous reaction to new market opportunities
Operators have already made a significant capital investment in 5G infrastructure. A supportive vendor ecosystem for consumer devices clients is following quickly and as consumers renew their wireless contracts, we believe that 5G is set to become the dominant technology for both Mobile and Fixed Wireless access to entertainment.
Are you interested in learning how EDGE GRAVITY is establishing a global edge cloud platform for operators? Visit https://edgegravity.ericsson.com/service-providers/ today.