Opinion

Value-creation for consumers through 5G

Madhav Sheth | Updated on April 27, 2021

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a mask walks past a 5G advert as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley/File Photo   -  REUTERS

5G’s ultra-low latency will minimize the response time of connected devices with blazing data speeds

In 2010 could the average consumer really have imagined that there would be uninterrupted content streamed on to our handheld devices? Or better even, that we could access ride-sharing apps, smart home products, live mapping, and so on? Cut to 2020, and we have seen the immense benefits that 4G/VOLTE brought to our lives. And now, we are standing at the threshold of a new transformation - the era of 5G. The fifth-generation cellular network has multiple technology specialities, such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, cloud computing, gamification, mixed reality that have a direct impact on consumer use cases as well.

Hello Alexa? Please ensure that my Smart TV is turned off. And by the way, do switch on the security sensors so that there is no intrusion when I am away. Sounds far-fetched? Not really. As the Internet of Things developed, smart homes have slowly gained centre-stage. Users have a strong appetite for a tech-enabled lifestyle today, as compared to a few years ago. From smart TVs that bring a connected viewing experience to AI-enabled voice assistants, 5G smart homes will usher in a completely new way of living for tech-lifestyle enthusiasts. 5G’s ultra-low latency will minimize the response time of connected devices, hence users will be able to consume information in real-time, without any delay. Whether you are away from home or in an emergency, you can just control your smart devices seamlessly through a centralized platform on your smartphone. Thanks to 5G’s blazing data speeds, consumers in a single house can stream multiple HDR movies and shows on their preferred devices simultaneously, without worrying about data or bandwidth! And if I may look a bit further into the future, smart home devices will become smarter, even sending maintenance alerts to homeowner’s smartphones at regular intervals.

Gaming at higher data speeds

Every second matters in high-octane, immersive gameplay. Be it real-time strategy games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, location-based ones such as Pokemon Go, or any other. Most gamers are familiar with problems such as high latency, jitter, pings that can destroy a superb experience. 5G will bring ultra-low latency, with as low a lag as 5 milliseconds. Gamers will never face delayed input response during live gaming. 5G data speeds are anticipated to be 20 times faster than 4G networks. Consumers will be able to stream console-quality games on their smartphones and just play away to their hearts’ content, on the cloud! Sketchy internet connections will become a thing of the past as advanced cinematic quality and gameplay mechanics will become the new norm. Not to mention, 5G’s higher throughputs will also support AR/VR, so that true-blue gamers can immerse themselves in an enriched world. Esports is a booming industry not just worldwide but has evolved into a dynamic industry in India as well. The world of gaming is sure to transform into a more interactive, real-time, hyper-social environment as 5G becomes a reality.

How many of us truly grieved in the climactic scene of Braveheart when Mel Gibson’s William Wallace dies after letting through a ringing cry of freedom through the battlefield? Media and entertainment will be altered by the transformative power of 5G. Now, imagine the visuals magnified a thousand times more as 5G will support 4K and 8K HDR display. As user consumption patterns shift to more evolved content formats, current 4G networks will strain to support massive quality consumption under the current bandwidth. What’s more, we are only skimming the top of the surface here! Broadcasters and OTT platforms will be able to deliver high Gbps, multimedia content to crores of subscribers, without any lags or buffers, redefining the video streaming experience.

Over the last few years, we have seen the rapid growth of content creators who have harnessed the features of Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat to showcase their creativity. 5G will unleash a new era of creativity as users offer much more powerful visual forms of storytelling with AR, VR, and even holographic displays, to the delight of the consumers. Safe to say, 5G will democratize AR/VR experience for smartphone users as well, as they will be able to stream VR content on the cloud without investing in expensive gadgets.

Experts and analysts alike have forecasted how 5G will be a key growth engine of the economy, as many industries will flourish on the back of its multi-GBPS data speeds, massive network capacity, ultra-low latency, and greater flexibility. On the other end of the spectrum are the consumers, for whom, the above mentioned benefits may seem like just words on paper. In fact, early adopters of 5G are advocating how use cases will create a profound impact. It is time we move ahead from crystal-ball gazing to the imminent reality.

The author is CEO – Realme India and Europe

Published on April 27, 2021

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