The web is buzzing with information about the future of 5G technology — as it should be. More devices come online every year, creating huge demands for data across the globe but especially in dense urban areas. Without an improvement over existing 4G technology, accessing all things IP-related (video content, games, browsing, etc.) will become more difficult than many are willing to tolerate. Thus, moving to 5G is both an opportunity and an inevitability.
By 2021, there will be a projected 20 million to 100 million 5G devices in use and $2.3 billion being spent to develop the domestic 5G infrastructure, according to Statista. Once that infrastructure is in place, internet speeds are projected to triple, facilitating a future of high-definition 5G video streaming, additional options for virtual reality, and ultra-high-definition (ultra-HD) content on mobile devices, and widespread implementation of internet-connected sensors.
And the impact of 5G technology will reach much further than just video and entertainment in densely populated areas. 5G carriers will be able to expand into verticals like healthcare and transportation through robotic surgeries and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, opening them up to a whole new world of potential customers.
The impact of 5G will be to integrate the virtual network and digital worlds like never before — but it will be difficult for companies relying on a traditional business support system. These systems won’t be able to keep up with the additional strain and nuances that will come with the new 5G-based offerings, many of which will involve one-time offers or bundling that need to be rolled out as quickly as possible. Only businesses that recognize the importance of a massively scalable monetization platform now can capitalize on 5G advances before their competitors.
The Future of 5G Monetization
The advent of 5G will create new avenues for carriers to connect with customers. 5G will expand the capabilities of over-the-top, or OTT, video and will bring more interactive content, VR/AR experiences, gaming, and 3D video content.
These changes on the horizon are unsurprising, considering the way the average household now consumes media. A family of four will often have individual profiles within multiple streaming services that they watch simultaneously from a variety of devices. 5G video streaming can easily accommodate these demands, whereas 4G is likely to lag and stutter.
Major telecommunications companies like T-Mobile and Verizon have already launched plans to capture some of this audience, largely by engaging them with 5G video streaming first.
Verizon, for instance, rolled out fixed-mobile in rural areas, which brought additional subscribers to the OTT world. And T-Mobile has announced that if it successfully merges with Sprint, it will be able to deliver competitive broadband services to 52% of ZIP codes in the United States. As the gatekeeper of the content pipeline, that puts T-Mobile or anyone involved with 5G in a position to capitalize on tomorrow’s internet in the long run.
Verizon and T-Mobile are in unique positions to leverage 5G thanks to their extensive resources, but that doesn’t mean smaller companies are excluded from this opportunity. Apply these strategies to your own 5G monetization efforts:
1. Understand your Segment
Before you can monetize the introduction of 5G, you need to understand what elements of 5G technology are most important for your products and audience. For example, if you offer connected car services and you want to use 5G tech to let your vehicles communicate with each other, connectivity will be the most important aspect. But if you’re a content provider, you’ll more likely need the higher bandwidth that 5G can offer so you can give customers access to ultra-HD videos. That’s especially applicable if you’re providing live content such as sporting events.
2. Serve the Underserved
For some rural residents, the impact of 5G is to make reliable broadband available for the first time ever, as long as the infrastructure is brought up to par first. Various solutions have been proposed from government investment to wireless internet delivery. It may take longer for 5G to reach the most remote areas, but once it does, you’ll be able to reach a swath of new consumers who are eager to expand their digital reach. Tailor new offerings to these potential customers as soon as you’re able.
3. Offer 5G Support ASAP
5G infrastructure is developing fast, but it will take some time before 5G is the universal standard. Instead of waiting until 5G is perfect, you should begin introducing it to customers as soon as possible in whatever form it’s available. For instance, it might not be possible to offer 5G ultra-HD TV around the clock but making it available for a 90-minute movie or sporting event creates excitement by demonstrating the potential of 5G. If you are working with a legacy business support system, though, it will slow down your ability to roll out new offerings. You need a nimble and flexible platform that will make it easy to introduce those offerings as quickly as you can. 5G technology is moving fast, and you need to be just as agile.
4. Incorporate Gaming
As a content provider, you might have been interested in bundling gaming with television services — they’re a natural pair, after all. But slow internet speeds have made offering such a package difficult. Moving forward, 5G will be fast enough for users to stream games through your service or access additional bandwidth when playing competitively online. The integration of 5G game streaming into the traditional media ecosystem lets carriers serve consumers in entirely new ways.
5G technology still has hurdles to clear before it fulfills its full potential. Regardless, it’s clear to anyone invested in the internet that faster speeds, higher volumes, and wider reach are already overdue. To be ready for the future of 5G and the new verticals you can enter with it, you need to invest in a scalable, agile 5G monetization platform that will allow you to roll out 5G services quickly. You need to be able to handle 5G and non-5G services within the same platform. And you need to do all of it quickly enough to keep up with customers’ demands — and stave off the competition.
If you want to get ahead of the game, schedule a demo to find out how Evergent’s platform can help you do exactly that.