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Video Streaming Will Be 5G's Killer App, Predicts IHS Markit

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As the 5G era breaks, research and analytics company IHS Markit predicts video streaming will be its killer app. Most 4G device owners have no trouble streaming whatever video they like whenever they like, so what will 5G bring? The effects will be felt in so-far underserved areas, such as 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) streaming. Mobile devices rarely stream UHD thanks to bandwidth constraints, but that will change. More content platforms will supply 4K video, and more mobile viewers will have the throughput to watch it.

News 15G will also be a boon to live sports and event streaming, IHS predicts. When having low latency is critical, 5G's gains will become most apparent.

Not all 5G streaming will be on mobile, however, and the standard will improve the home video experience, as well. U.S. broadband households averaged 35 Mbps connections in 2018, but 5G can theoretically achieve up to 1 Gbps. Its first rollouts will be much slower, the researchers caution.

Surveying 2,031 people on their attitudes about 5G, IHS found that 74% said streaming video was the most compelling reason to upgrade their home internet service.

“The promise of faster video streaming through 5G is generating enormous enthusiasm among consumers,” says Joshua Builta, a senior principal analyst at IHS. “Interest is particularly high for those younger than 50, with 81% of survey respondents in that age range citing video streaming as the top activity for 5G."

This data comes from IHS's Digital Orbit report, available for purchase.

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