Video streaming will be the killer application for 5G in the USA

Video streaming will be the killer application for 5G in the USA
Published: 25 August 2019 - 2:35 p.m.

The 5G era will drive the next wave of growth in video streaming, with 78 per cent of USA consumers indicating they will expand this activity with the adoption of the next-generation wireless standard in both smartphones and home-networking solutions.

Consumers ranked video streaming first, ahead of video calling, social media, mobile gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality when asked in a recent IHS Markit survey. As a result, the deployment of 5G will help cause video usage to grow to account for 70 per cent of mobile network traffic by 2022.

In the USA, the current 4G wireless services already provide enough performance to support the streaming of most types of content. Because of this, 5G's largest impact will be felt by the emerging areas of the market. One of these is 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) video, which the 5G standard will help drive thanks to its increased capacity and speed.

Side by side with its smartphone market, consumers in the USA have also expressed a keen interest in engaging 5G video streaming via home internet accent. While often regarded purely as a mobile technology, the 5G standard also supports fixed wireless access (FWA). However, unlike fixed solutions such as DSL, cable or fibre, 5G FWA uses wireless mobile network technology to extend internet access into homes.

Most consumers say they are attracted to 5G FWA by its faster speeds. On average, the speed of broadband connections in the USA was about 35Mbps in 2018. In theory, the introduction of 5G could bump speeds up to 1Gbps, although initial deployments will be much slower.

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