Emerging experiences based on massive multiplayer gaming and location based augmented reality require instantaneous two-way interaction between data farm and user. The technology that brings this into reach is Mobile Edge Computer (MEC). It relocates processing and power closer to the user, reducing the round-trip latency to milliseconds.
According to global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, 5G edge networks will unlock cloud video revenues totaling $67.5 billion by 2024, that’s a growth rate of 67% since 2019.
5G and edge networks will extend gaming into a fully immersive, multi-sensorial environment with multi-player collaboration to access and play the same game, the researcher says. This will drive 119 million cloud gaming users by 2024.
Telcos, or communications service providers CSPs, stand to gain. “The tectonic shift in the entertainment sector toward streaming of video, music, and games is exciting for CSPs to tap into,” explains Don Alusha, Senior Analyst, 5G Core & Edge Networks at ABI Research. “5G edge networks integrate cellular architecture with IT and cloud infrastructure to reduce end-to-end latency for a multitude of services and use cases.”
For example, using 5G and the MEC, content can be processed by multiple users in different locations in a simultaneous fashion. Further, the content can be reused for different requirements like second screens, interactive game. The ability to create content in a rapid fashion and in multiple locations can reduce media production costs and timescales, ABI says, indicating that the likes of Vodafone, Orange, SK Telecom, and LG UPLUS are already taking advantage of this.
Alusha says, “For example, there are 1.5 billion AR enabled devices today (across smartphones, tablets, and smart glasses), and that is before the consumer AR smart glasses wave has even begun. With the advent of 5G and edge capabilities, 2021 and beyond will be a time in which partnerships and collaborations between Amazon, Google, Microsoft and telcos will flourish for both the enterprise and consumer markets.”
For telcos, there will be even more opportunities to partner with AI, and VR/AR and software developers who might benefit from 5G speeds to deliver more immersive and accurate experiences.
Promoting its own study as providing the answer, ABI suggests, “The first step for the industry is to understand the value at stake from gaming, media, and entertainment use cases and be ready to move in at the right moment. The question for [telcos], hyperscalers [like Amazon], and network equipment vendors is whether they can find a reasonable commercial basis for taking action that will be predictable and positively affect top line revenues.”
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