5G - The Future Is About To Arrive

by: Mark J. Grant

The new 5G network promises blazing speeds, massive throughput capability, and ultra-low latencies and makes "the existing communication model obsolete."

This is critically important to understand for investors.

I still do not believe that many people and institutions know just how important this new technology is going to be in a wide variety of sectors.

Let me be explicitly clear. The new 5G network that is most assuredly beaming itself our way makes "the existing communication model obsolete." This is critically important to understand for investors. The 5th generation of cellular connectivity promises blazing speeds, massive throughput capability, and ultra-low latencies. While I have written about subject before, I still do not believe that many people and institutions know just how important this new technology is going to be in a wide variety of sectors.

5G is going to have a huge positive impact on most major phone carriers, as the major carriers all plan to launch 5G this year. As they will become the provider of streaming services for everything from data, to TV content, to games, it is my opinion that they will eventually replace the cable and internet connections as there will be no need, any longer, to use those services. There will be a router in your house, or office, that will supply "everything." Also, virtually every phone will have to be replaced by the new 5G phones which will be a giant boon for the mobile telephone makers and their suppliers, in my opinion.

President Trump recently stated,

I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind… I want the United States to win through competition, not by blocking out currently more advanced technologies. We must always be the leader in everything we do, especially when it comes to the very exciting world of technology!

In a statement the CTIA, the trade association representing the U.S. wireless communications industry, appreciated the support from the President.

We share the President's commitment to leading the world in next-generation 5G wireless. Thanks to the innovation, hard work and investment of America's wireless industry, the first commercial 5G deployments are happening now, in communities across the country.

5G, and its connectivity to the "Internet of Things," has the capability to create more efficient industries such as connected cars, and smarter cities which are all components of the "Internet of Things" equation. The uses for the military are inestimable as military installations can be instantaneously controlled from hundreds of miles away. Cameras on military and commercial aircraft will be able to see and diagnose issues in "real-time," allowing for much safer experiences.

The global population is set to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050. In the "Internet of Things" 5G based smart farming, a new system will be built for monitoring the crop field with the help of sensors (light, humidity, temperature, soil moisture, etc.) and automating the irrigation system. The farmers can monitor the field conditions from anywhere. The "Internet of Things" based smart farming is highly efficient when compared with what is available now.

One of the major telephone service providers has announced multiple partnerships focused on an enhanced 5G healthcare experience. Perhaps the biggest announcement was the partnership with Chicago based Rush University Medical Center. Together, they're working to bring the first standards-based, 5G-enabled hospital to the United States.

Incorporating 5G technology into the healthcare space will ultimately bring faster speeds and lower latency which are critical to the mission-critical nature of hospital care and they support the abundance of innovative technologies Rush is currently deploying throughout its system.

Dr. Shafiq Rab of Rush stated,

High-speed, low-latency 5G technology will help enable care to be delivered virtually anywhere at any time. The technology will enhance access to care, even from long distances, while also helping to decrease costs and improve efficiency. Imagine sometime in the not too distant future, for example, a doctor performing a virtual visit with a patient while downloading an entire MRI scan within seconds. The cutting-edge applications we're implementing need a fast, reliable network to support them.

The numbers are staggering for growth of 5G. IDC forecasts 5G connections to rise at an annual average rate of 315.7% from 2019-2022. They also project 5G mobile subscriptions to expand by 322.2% during this same time period.

Next consider the car and truck companies. The vehicles will be able to communicate with each other in almost virtual time because the latency is so quick. A human being is unlikely to be part of this equation and the safety factor on the new 5G cars and trucks will make travelling much safer, which should speed up people and companies buying and leasing these new cars and trucks. The vehicles will be able to "sense" each other and avoid collusions and also avoid obstacles as the use of very detailed maps, constantly changing in "Real Time," will become available.

Then there will be the monitoring of devices. Water meters, electric meters, locks for your offices, garage door openers, inventory in a store and a whole host of the "internet of things" can be monitored in virtually "Real Time." The savings to many types of companies, such as utility companies, and retail stores, is likely to be substantial.

The 5G network, because of the speed, also requires more antennas at closer distances. That means that the tower companies, along with the chip makers, will benefit along with the makers of the antenna equipment. This will just be a huge boon for these companies, in my estimation. The FCC estimates that there will be 4 trillion MHZ-Pops which is compared to the 230 billion that are in existence at this time. HIS forecasts that the 5G equipment market will grow 321.3% from 2018-2022.

You might think that the new 5G technologies are far off so that nothing needs to be done now. I beg to differ. Keysight commissioned Dimensional Research to conduct the survey on which its state of 5G report is based, which included responses from more than 350 senior technology leaders and strategists from service providers and technology companies. Fifty-four percent of respondents said that they had already begun their 5G development, and 16% said they already had 5G partially deployed. Thirty-one percent of respondents said that they planned to deploy 5G within the next 12 months, with an additional 13% saying that deployment would come within the next 12-24 months.

The first mobile phone call took place on April 3, 1973. This was almost 46 years ago. The technology advanced slowly, slowly from one generation to the next. 5G is not an evolution, in my opinion, but a revolution, because of the huge increase in speed which allows for modern day miracles. "Real Time" has finally arrived.

I suggest investors take some "Real Time" now to size up both the opportunities and the pitfalls. If not, they will be making decisions in the past, as the future will have already materialized.

Editor’s Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.