5G is expected to have a major impact on real-time communications and user engagement, especially on mobile devices. In particular, mobile live video broadcast will reap the benefits of 5G, as the technology addresses some of the biggest challenges affecting the limitations and shortcomings of 4G.
Therefore, it can be said that the arrival of 5G will not only transform technology, but it will also provide an entirely new mobile experience. As the access to 5G becomes a reality in India in the coming years, developers and enterprises should prepare a road map of how they would like to take advantage of the cutting-edge technology to deepen mobile engagement experiences for the hyper-connected users of tomorrow.
Why the Speed Boost Matters
Every new generation of mobile connectivity brings about a new forward leap in the mobile experience. For example, moving from 2G to 3G took a mobile from basic SMS texting to the era of basic web content connectivity. Subsequently, the increased wireless speeds and stability that 4G introduced gave rise to the era of on-demand mobile content and real-time communications such as video streaming and live broadcasting.
In turn, we witnessed mobile disruption across countless industries from social media and gaming to retail and telehealth. For example, YouTube Live, a live streaming feature from the video platform, allows its millions of creators to share the live video while they’re gaming, attending a sports event, or even performing live at a concert, all for their subscribers to enjoy in real-time.
However, 4G has not always been capable of supporting smooth and continuous high-resolution video on-the-go, like in the case of live broadcasting. When platforms and developers take advantage of live video, voice, interactive broadcasting and other forms of real-time communications technology but don’t have access to a network of globally distributed data centres, the quality of the user experience can vary depending on the device used and network stability.
Preparing for 5G
With the onset of 5G, the cellular real-world data transfer speed will increase from 10-15 Mbps to 100+ Mbps. Faster speeds and faster connections will set new benchmarks for existing mobile experiences that we are yet to imagine. In terms of live broadcasting on mobile devices, we can expect video quality at 4K HDR or better, even combined with AR and other experience enhancements.
Along with increased speed, 5G is expected to bring more bandwidth and significantly lower latency, which will eliminate network delays, as well as increased throughput. In an increasingly connected world where people are using smart and mobile devices more than ever, 5G will enable people to communicate and interact in ways not possible with 4G. Some companies have already started putting potential use cases with 5G into practice. For example, in India, Reliance Jio is accelerating the development of 5G products and services in association with Qualcomm Technologies.
Integration of 5G in Real Time Engagement (RTE) will increase interactivity at any scale along with increase shared context. As 5G matures in India, we will increasingly see people interact with one another as well as with digital content in virtual environments. Imagine a metaverse applied to live sports, music concerts and game shows. You could play tennis with your favourite pro, go backstage at a concert with your best friend or compete on Jeopardy—all from the comfort of your own home.
Worldwide, we are seeing an increase in demand for audience-to-host, host-to-host, and co-watching experiences provided by companies such as Scener. We believe this is just the beginning of a coming transformation in the entertainment industry.
Towards a New Reality
Once 5G is fully operational, we will have new use cases beyond video conferencing such as virtual tours to your favourite holiday destinations. For example, 360 stories provides interactive live tours with real-time guides in VR and AR. The traditional touring experience will be modified into interactive Live Tours using real-time guides in the new normal scenario. With Virtual Live Tours, people can now remotely roam their favourite cities and attractions by signing up for a personalized touring experience with a real-time local guide. Soon customers will also be able to use our AR storytelling platform app while in-destination to go on a voyage of discovery.
While 5G will significantly impact the way, we communicate over the public Internet, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution to every problem developers and enterprises face. After all, bandwidth is only one part of the equation when it comes to creating a high-quality real-time experience. In order to have a smooth streaming experience with no unwanted effects like delay, jitter, and freeze, a global delivery network of data centres coupled with advanced encoding algorithms are needed to dynamically manage the routing of voice and video to overcome packet loss.
The author is Director Growth India and SAARC for Agora
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication