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The benefits of 5G: Streaming video, gaming, and immersive mobile experiences

18 June 2019 Sarah Henschel

With 5G deployments rolling out across the world, the next generation of mobile technology promises myriad benefits to consumers, especially those who enjoy streaming videos. Recall that when 4G LTE first launched, mobile operators partnered with pay-TV providers and streaming services such as Netflix to showcase that LTE allowed consumers to stream videos with their mobile devices. While LTE provided a strong foundation for video streaming, 5G is poised to enhance the consumer streaming experience even further while also opening new revenue opportunities for enterprises.

LTE currently supports $40 billion in consumer revenues in the online video market. With 5G, however, IHS Markit forecasts that number to jump to $100 billion in the next five years. 5G will offer countless opportunities for improved streaming experiences, thanks to faster speeds, lower latency, stronger reliability, higher capacity, and better mobility. Given such vast improvements, IHS Markit predicts that there will be 1 billion 5G mobile subscriptions by 2023.

The gaming industry in particular should benefit from the new opportunities that 5G presents. Because online gaming requires low latency and fast speeds for an optimal user experience, 5G will deliver a vastly improved gaming experience. IHS Markit predicts that revenue from mobile gaming will jump to $83 billion in the next five years. Moreover, cloud gaming will also benefit since 5G removes the need for high-cost hardware.

While streaming video and gaming will improve in the short term because of the faster speeds and lower latency that 5G offers, the long-term possibilities are perhaps even more compelling. For example, immersive, "choose your own adventure" experiences and AR stand to benefit a great deal from 5G. Augmented reality in particular should show continued improvement on 5G because AR has the entire smartphone footprint at its disposal. IHS Markit predicts AR revenue to grow to over $3 billion in the next five years.

While LTE generally provides a solid streaming experience, 5G will make it easier for consumers to enjoy a host of streaming options, such as binge-watching TV shows in 4K or playing online games whenever they want and anywhere they go.

Sarah Henschel is senior research analyst for media at IHS Markit
Posted 18 June 2019


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