Advent of 5G Technology

and its reverberations in Media Industry


The world is quite inquisitive of 5G technology and it's a new buzz in every sector. Everyone is looking forward to its impact in all territories but being a journalist its my onus to focus about its impact in the Media sphere.

So, before discussing it further, let me explain the technology in a simple way. 5G is the new 5th generation wireless mobile network which is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. It warrants a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects,devices, anything material or immaterial of this world. The 5G network is supposed to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connect new industries.

Human Gray Matter, unmyelinated neurons, always long for new innovations in the areas which have been achieved or conquered. In the media sector, means of communication vis-a-vis telecommunication has kept changing the scenario of transmitting/ sharing/ sending the information from smoke to drums, from telegraph to internet. Every new invention has given birth to new means of communicating as water was predominantly used in early civilization, so hydraulic telegraphs were being created for transmitting information. Invention of electricity paved the way for electric telephone and electric telegraph. End of the nineteenth century witnessed the newly discovered phenomenon of Radio waves which led to the invention of Radio & television. Mid midtwentieth century was the era of semiconductors & Transistors, videotelephony, satellites, and nonetheless Computers & internet. Third quarter of this century saw the rapid development and wide adoption of pulse-code modulation (PCM) digital telephony which was enabled by metal– oxide–semiconductor (MOS) technology that was responsible for the rise of digital media. The last decade of the century, the wireless revolution started with the advent of digital wireless networks leading to a social revolution, and a paradigm shift from wired to wireless technology

In continuation of wireless technology, 5G is the new name on the block. People expect it to play a significant role in live production and contribution as well as distribution to consumers. There are trials and real-world 5G deployments and testing of media use cases going on behind the scenes. In this COVID-19 era, the role of 5G in remote production becomes even more relevant to cut production costs while complying with strict social distancing guidelines.

The first is remote production, sending compressed realtime, in-synch multi-camera feeds (including 4K) from the field (venues, events sites, outdoor sports locations…) into the cloud or to the production facility, rather than sending out an OB unit with all the equipment and staff. Then there’s wireless studios: a vision where an all-IP, 5G NPN cableless wireless studio(s) is used, with all A/V devices connected over a 5G network, all IP-based etc. Lastly, enhanced news gathering for live and recorded coverage and much faster pre-edited file uploading (LiveU FTP), benefiting from the additional uplink capacity and enhanced user density support.

for consumer consumption is foreseen, both live and nonlive. More users, watching more content, at higher quality, with no buffering etc. For live content, 5G broadcast and multicast have the important potential to reduce network load, enhance the viewer experience and reduce operators’ costs. Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual reality (VR) see a growth with 5G development. The AR/VR content may be live or pre-arranged. The requirement for high bandwidth at very low latency (otherwise physiological phenomena will inhibit usage) is expected to be resolved by 5G. eGaming and eSports is similar to AR/VR but also requires multi-player synching with very low latency. In addition, we see possible use cases in other verticals, where video or other media is required, making very good use of 5G. These include telemedicine – high-quality, remote access to medical experts, home treatments etc. We’re also taking about remotely operated, or assisted, medical robots and machinery. Very low latency, high uplink bandwidth and very high reliability are key to this remote point-topoint telemedicine use. COVID is expected to further boost the exploration of these use cases, including remote patient monitoring in ambulances or other out-of-hospital locations.

There are also AI-driven media use cases where backoffice AI is used to analyse and work on high-quality video coming in from mobile field devices for various outputs. 5G offers a range of key technologies to enable and support these cases. The main ones are higher bandwidth, both downlink (mainly) but also uplink; edge computing that enables latency reduction in some uses; support for increased user density – to reduce congestion both for production and consumption; slicing and orchestrated virtualised services using 5G Core to enable QoS “guarantees” for paying customers in stand-alone (SA) networks; NPN networks and NPN-PN roaming and collaboration models; and broadcast/multicast support. The issue is to close the huge gaps between the promised performance and the current or imminent 5G network deployments, if and when all these 5G “goodies” are enabled and fully deployed. This requires a lot of research and validation – technological, operational and economic (return on investment). Then there’s the capital investment, including spectrum, basic infrastructure, optional advanced infrastructure and more expensive end-user technologies; we all need to understand the possibilities versus the limitations. Then there’s the issue of how widely networks are deployed and network resources allocated. It depends on investment priorities and ROI analysis, which are in competition with other verticals/use cases/markets/ businesses such as IoT, smart logistics, autonomous vehicles, smart cities etc. Such full 5G deployments are some way off, though in some countries that see 5G as an engine to drive their economy, rollouts will be earlier than in others.

Being at the heart of the testing and validation of these innovative use cases, especially in production, we can assess the advantages, limitations and market viability of these advanced 5G technologies. We see, and experience in our work, bonding multiple links is required to fully enable these cases. It simply ensures the maximum effective use of current and future 5G capabilities. On the one hand there’s fluctuations in service levels, limited consistent uploading for any single modem, partial deployments, sub 6GHz spectrum penetration and propagation issues, and NSA (Non-Standalone) deployments are the standard (using 4G cores and sometimes jumping between 4G to NR (New Radio) in the middle of transmission). On the other hand, there’s increasing demand for 4K production, multiple-cameras, remote production in news and across top sporting events. LiveU multilink combining any 5G connection, with or without additional 4G or Wi-Fi, is essential in satisfying the strict requirements of these use cases. (Courtesy: Baruch Altman, AVP Technologies and Projects, LiveU and Chair, 5G-IA Trials & Pilots Working Group International Stream) In the long term, the question will not be 5G or edge computing, but how to combine both technologies to deliver use cases. This is for two key reasons: Firstly, to achieve ultra-low latency, necessary for further out use cases like autonomous drones or remote telesurgery, the combination of 5G and edge computing will be necessary. This means both a bigger, faster pipe in conjunction with a shorter distance for the data to travel. Secondly, edge can enable operators to change their backhaul business models. For data-heavy applications, such as those requiring high-definition video or extensive data analysis, even with 5G, sending data constantly back to the cloud will be expensive and deteriorate the customer experience. C-level Executives from leading M&E firms shared the latest innovations and disruptive business models that are transforming this industry.

5G will have a disruptive impact on Media & Entertainment industry thanks to significant improvements in transmission speed, quality, and reliability, which will drive innovation in content, distribution, and enduser technologies. Lower latency and cost will enable live streaming of events and augmented reality shows on mobile devices. Higher speed and bandwidth will allow the entertainment industry to create more personalized and immersive experiences. Frankly speaking, on the brighter side Media and entertainment ‘experiences’ enabled by 5G will generate up to $1.3 trillion (£0.9 trillion) in revenue by 2028, according to a new report commissioned by Intel and carried out by Ovum. This is almost half of the projected $3 trillion (£2.3 trillion) in wireless revenues overall. The report suggests that 2025 will represent a ‘tipping point’ for 5G in entertainment and media. By that time, the report forecasts that around 57 percent of wireless revenue globally will be driven by the capabilities of 5G networks and devices. By 2028, Intel and Ovum expect that number to rise to 80 percent. So, lets Welcome the Future Welcome 5G…..