How 5G wireless will change pay TV industry virtually overnight

Let’s explore how 5G wireless will change other industries like pay TV, how big the impact will be and how quickly that change will occur.

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5G wireless will be a revolution to so many industries in the next few years. One of those industries is the world of cable TV or pay TV as it is called today. 5G is coming on strong and fast. Let’s take a closer look at the impact it will have and how it will completely transform the entire industry.

If we pull the camera back, we see that 5G has the potential to change every industry. That means whether we are a consumer or business, the way we do everything will dramatically change in coming years.

Yesterday, we had separate sectors like wireless, cable TV, local telephone, long distance, Internet and more. Companies competed in one sector or another, but that was it. Over the last two decades things have been changing. Industry by industry, these separate segments have been blending.

Today, we have fewer sectors that are larger than ever. Single companies offer multiple services instead of just one. Because of this, they have grown to enormous size and scope. They compete with other companies that they have never competed with before. That means companies must learn new ways of doing business if they want to succeed going forward.

Wireless pay TV will rapidly grow and change with 5G

Before this transformation, the cable television industry sold cable TV, period. Then they started to sell Internet. Now they are selling wireless. Think of Comcast Xfinity Mobile, Charter Spectrum Mobile and Altice Mobile. Along the way, Comcast also acquired NBC Universal, which gave them loads of content.

They are doing this because the telephone companies are selling competitive television services. AT&T, for example acquired DirecTV and transformed it into DirecTV NOW. They expanded their IPTV service and also introduced wireless TV or mobile TV. They also recently acquired Time Warner, which they renamed WarnerMedia. This gives them their own source of new content.

Today, AT&T DirecTV NOW and Comcast Xfinity are the two leading pay television companies. Ten years ago, these two companies were not direct competitors. Today they are. The industry has been reinventing itself over the last decade or two and it not done yet. Competitors and the entire industry will continue to transform themselves and grow.

Today’s leaders in pay TV are AT&T DirecTV NOW and Comcast Xfinity

Next, as the wireless industry moves further into 5G, it will unleash an entirely new segment of the pay TV industry. Let’s call this wireless pay TV or mobile pay TV.

This means existing providers off pay TV or cable TV services will start to offer this kind of service over the mobile networks. Expect existing leaders like AT&T DirecTV NOW to offer their service over the AT&T Mobility network. They already have been doing this over 4G in recent years, and 5G will only turn the heat up.

I also think Comcast will offer their Xfinity TV service over the wireless network they use. Expect the same with Charter Spectrum and Altice as well. In fact, I expect this from every cable television company who will face this competitive threat. Not because they want to, but because of competitive pressure.

I also expect plenty of new competitors to jump in as well. They will enter the space and offer pay TV over wireless using an MVNO agreement. This is similar to the way the cable television companies will offer this service.

Plus, there is an entirely new segment starting in the pay TV industry. Companies like Netflix, HULU, Amazon TV, YouTube TV, Facebook TV and more are moving into this space and offering a completely different and new model over the Internet.

Today, users have more choices than ever before. Tomorrow, what this means is these new choices will explode as 5G wireless comes into play and everyone and his brother will have the potential to offer competitive wireless pay TV services in a variety of ways.

This is the potential revolution I am expecting being driven by the very fast 5G technology. In fact, it has already begun. It started a decade or two ago. Just look at how the leadership in the pay TV industry has changed. Today the leaders are AT&T DirecTV NOW and Comcast Xfinity.

Who would have ever dreamed a telephone company would become a leader in pay TV? That is the kind of rapid transformation I am talking about. I think that will continue over the next decade and will impact every player.

How quickly will 5G wireless pay TV come to market?

So, what about tomorrow? What’s coming next? I don’t think it’s a question of if, but of when and how quickly. How quickly will wireless pay TV or 5G pay TV grow in this space? This is going to impact everything.

It will impact the consumer and business marketplace. It will impact the investor, the worker, the way companies compete, who they compete with and the services we will be using.

Our world has changed dramatically over the last decade with technologies like the iPhone and Android, Uber and Lyft, and so much more. Just as the retail world has changed and continues to do so with apps and strategy. Just as the automotive industry, medical and healthcare industry and so much more has transformed, this wave of change will only continue and intensify.

The 5G road ahead will get bumpy as we accelerate. It will both be filled with leaders and laggards, winners and losers, successes and failures. The next question is which companies will fall into which category? This is the road I will be keeping my eyes on. So, buckle up, things are going to get very interesting going forward.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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