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CSG 2019 Predictions: Connectivity in the Age of Streaming and 5G

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Ian Watterson and Brice Clinton of CSG

Connectivity in the Age of Streaming and 5G

The way that humans connect and consume content is set for a revolution in 2019. With companies like Apple and Intel making major moves in the 5G space, the reality of next generation connectivity will be here sooner than we think. This will enable even more streaming platforms- from Walmart, ESPN+, Disney+, Fox, NBC, to existing giants like Netflix, and Hulu, to expand, innovate and disrupt the ways consumers view and engage.

As companies prepare to maximize consumer offerings around this new technology, it's important to look at how consumer expectations, technical capabilities and even society, will evolve. Here are 2019 predictions from CSG on what to expect next: 

Ian Watterson, 5G expert and Head of Americas and Asia-Pacific at CSG:

The realization of 5G connectivity

In 2019, 5G connectivity will become an entity in our society, with more and more providers announcing offerings and IoT products that take advantage of this accelerated connectivity. This coming year consumers will be able to interact with the technology and begin to conceptualize its potential impact on our society.

The impact of connectivity

Looking beyond 2019 alone, in the long-term 5G and the bandwidth it enables will help decrease poverty by providing the rural population with increased access to data and education.

Launch of the first Smart City

The proliferation of the IoT and the impending development of 5G connectivity in 2019 will open the floodgates for the first truly smart city. The major impediment to moving the smart city from the theoretical to the practical was the sheer speed and bandwidth to handle the amount of data generated by the IoT and process it in real time. From public transit to law enforcement, 2019 will see the first truly smart city, powered by building blocks laid this last year.

Brice Clinton, Senior Engineer at CSG and OTT industry expert

5G Becomes Operational

While there has been much talk around 5G networks 2019 will see those network utilized and marketed. This increased network bandwidth and speed with lowering latency will continue to create efficiencies which will be most exacerbated in the mobile space - where video is growing at its highest rate. This improved speed (especially on mobile devices) provides an opportunity to create more compelling, immersive content specifically tailored for mobile devices.

Blockchain for Content

Most people immediately associated Blockchain technology with cryptocurrency, specifically bitcoin. These virtual, decentralized currencies are the most prevalent (and obvious) use, but in 2019 Blockchain technology will continue to permeate other industries. As where people get their content becomes less centralized the ability for content creators to go directly to their consumers and monetize in new ways continues to grow. Those content creators are starting to use the Blockchain to monetize their content either through the community of fans upvoting their content and being rewarded for popularity or via direct payments using proprietary coins built on the blockchain.

Technology and content consumption

Streaming options and personalized content have begun to revolutionize how viewers experience live programming, but in 2019, consumers will see an integration of next-generation technologies into the live viewing experience. This will include VR, AR and blockchain, which will provide a new level of in-the-moment information and context to viewers. The impact of this will be noticeable specifically within sports broadcasting (many leagues already provide games in VR). In 2019 we'll see more available programming, which when combined with lower cost of hardware will drive wider adoption. 

Consumer Ethics

This year countless stories brought to light the amount of data collected about consumers and the mishandling of much of that data. It was also a year that saw GDPR become law in the EU and in my estimation, 2019 will see more countries (and companies on their own) move to a privacy by design model and attempt to get to a level of radical transparency.

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About the Authors

Brice Clinton 

Brice Clinton is a Senior Engineer at CSG where he builds the strategies and solutions that power digital media services, content delivery, digital service monetization and cutting-edge consumer experiences.

Brice also serves an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University where he leads a course devoted to technology in sports.

Ian Watterson 

Ian Watterson is Head of Americas and Asia-Pacific, guiding growth strategy and customer success initiatives across North and South America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Ian has 18 years of experience in technology and telecommunications management across operational management, corporate strategy, finance, and marketing disciplines.

Published Friday, February 08, 2019 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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