The Impact of 5G on the OTT Industry

Rishabh Jain Apr 13th, 2022

Image Source

Remember what it was like when 1G gripped the world? It was the first mobile network which allowed us to communicate through cell phones with analog voice technology. 2G switched over voice communication from analog to digital. 3G was responsible for mobile web browsing and mobile data plans. 4G LTE gave us mobile broadband and the ability to watch videos on-demand. Now 5G has entered the fray and the world is only just starting to figure out what this new generation of connectivity has to offer specially in the domain of video streaming.

When the majority of the mobile internet bandwidth used today is to stream videos, it’s logical to conclude that 5G presents the perfect opportunity to take OTT viewer experience to newer heights. 5G was essentially designed to bring landline speeds to mobile devices. The 5G promise of high capacity and low latency connectivity will be a content delivery game changer. But this is not likely to happen overnight because realizing the benefits of 5G requires new network infrastructures and 5G enabled end-user devices. Cisco predicts that 10% of mobile devices will be 5G capable by 2023, with speeds that are 13 times higher than the average mobile connection.

Source: Global Logic

The Rise of Cloud Computing

It has been predicted that the gap between broadcast and broadband will be bridged by cloud computing and 5G. 5G is going to pull the cloud computing infrastructures vital to delivering OTT services, closer to the end users. This will allow for real-time processing and minimal latency. When the processing shifts to local “macro” towers supported by 5G, user experience is no longer dependent on distant servers or the individual device’s computing power. This dynamic combination between cloud computing and 5G holds the key to delivering real-time data and live video streaming through OTT networks.

8K Streaming Possibilities?

There is a promise that 8K, on the medium-term horizon, will deliver premium content at a resolution that is 8192 x 4320 x 60/120 which is four to eight times the pixel count of full HD. Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT), France Télévisions, Orange and technology partners including Harmonic and other partners joined forces at the 2019 Roland Garros to deliver the first ever live 8K streaming and broadcast through satellite and 5G networks. The content was produced live and encoded in 8K with the help of 8K cameras, live encoders, cloud origin servers and file transcoder for the media processing part. Live content of the French Open was delivered to 8K TV’s and mobile devices. The lesson learned from this trial was that it is possible to deliver live, catch-up TV and Video On-Demand content in pristine 8K to TVs and mobile devices through the 5G network. By the 2024 Paris Olympics, the technology will be mature enough to be deployed at a mass scale.

Image Source: France TV Lab

Virtual and Augmented Reality

An IBM survey revealed that 45% of consumers were enthusiastic for VR entertainment options when it came to 5G applications. The same survey also found that 50% of the consumers were kicked about AR in movies and TV shows.
The need for 5G to enhance computational power becomes critical in video streaming as complex VR processing can be done on cloud. In the US, Verizon and the NBA signed a partnership to integrate VR viewing options into the NBA League Pass streaming platform.

Preparation by OTT Providers

Investing in 5G is more than partnering with carriers to access faster networks. What it really means is to dig down into the logistics of content delivery. Video streaming providers which rely on Content Delivery Network (CDN) systems to distribute data will have to ensure those CDNs are equipped to handle 5G enabled demands by storing and delivering data at improved speeds.

Enveu takes pride in staying head-to-head with new technological advancements in the video streaming landscape. Your customers will rely on you to meet their expectations with each new tech innovation. So don’t wait till it’s too late. Contact us right away and we will lay the groundwork for you in bracing for the 5G impact.

Rishabh Jain - Director, Product Development, Enveu
Rishabh Jain is one of the co-founders and heads the Product Development at Enveu. A tech evangelist and deep tech advocate, he has been working in the Technology space, being part of many Big Data and IoT initiatives for over 10 years.

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