Video Services are Booming As 5G Applications Surge

Release Date:2019-03-28  Author:By Yin Qin  Click:


It is estimated that 5G commercialization and popularization will start in around 2020, accompanied by significant rate, traffic and bandwidth improvement. In addition, due to low latency and mass access features of 5G, the technology upgrade will facilitate innovations in the live video industry and market penetration of 4K/8K high-definition videos. For example, when the AR and VR technologies are combined with live broadcast, the use of AR and VR technologies also brings high bandwidth occupation and more latency, and thus poor user experience. In such cases, the low latency and mass access provided by 5G will make a difference and bring excellent user experience. Predictably, with the support of 5G, live broadcast via drones and VR will be extensively used in such scenarios as concerts, football matches and ultimate experience tours.

Other factors that promote mobile live video include cancellation of domestic mobile roaming charges, increased internet speeds and reduced internet fees in recent years, and further 5G development. At the end of November 2017, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that the basic goal of 5G Phase-3 R&D trial would be achieved by the end of 2018 and be commercially launched in 2020. 5G means not only higher transmission speeds but also lower traffic tariffs. China's huge population base and high penetration rate of smartphones have also provided a fertile soil for the development of short videos.

Short Video and Live Broadcast

With the popularity of 4G and predictable 5G applications, short videos and live webcast via mobile terminals are booming and growing rapidly. This has greatly promoted the internet economy. In many emergencies and important activities in recent years, the media used aerial photography and short videos to plan new media content, thereby enhancing the appeal and spread effect of the report.
The trend of all the people to be anchors began in China in 2016. The live broadcast platforms such as YY, Douyu and MP have become hot, and the content industry has exploded. Everyone gets a chance to be a network star as long as the anchor is good-looking or the content is attractive enough. The fast-rising live broadcast platforms can be found in various areas, such as entertainment, online education, investment and financial management, corporate management and product release. The best-known broadcast platforms include professionals represented by Luo Yonghao and Luo Zhengyu, live broadcast endorsement represented by the actress Gong Li, and live corporate press release represented by Lei Jun. 

At the end of 2017, the number of China's online video users reached 579 million, an increase of 6.3% year-on-year, and that of mobile video users reached 549 million, an increase of 9.7% year-on-year. Moreover, the number of instant messaging users in China increased to 720 million, accounting for 93.3% of total internet users, an increase of 8.1% year-on-year. The sharing and forwarding of various social media and instant messaging tools is an important way for short videos and live broadcast in the mobile internet.

As the industry scale in the short video field expands rapidly and the whole peripheral environment gets better and better, investors are investing more in the short video industry and new explorations are being made on the market leading mode. Among the top 100 APPs in China, one or two short video apps are growing at 20 to 30%, and some even as high as 50%. This growth rate is basically unprecedented in other areas. If 80% of online content in the future is video content, the user base of short video will achieve double growth in the next three years.
As unstable and slow network connections are most likely to occur during the live broadcast of a large event, good cellular networks are quite important to network platforms. The survey showed that more than half of anchors are forced to abandon their live broadcast due to poor network connectivity. The number of mobile TV services accessed via mobile networks will increase in the future, especially live events. The audiences expect to upload video clips or live events, causing huge capacity pressure on the mobile network. People are eager for networks with few stutters, good coverage, high video quality, short delay time, short loading time, and high sound quality. In live broadcasting of sports events, 5G can also provide a more intuitive on-site experience. By synchronously transferring data between a large number of smartphones, 5G networks enable fast live multicast. With real-time video streaming and virtually zero-latency transmission at different camera angles, users will be able to enhance and share their true stadium experience.
To meet increasing user needs for mobile video and enhance user experience, it is extremely urgent to develop the next-generation new technologies. The pleasant live video experience is inseparable from 5G.
 In China, ZTE and China Mobile jointly set up an integrated CDN system to provide professional content delivery for internet video suppliers such as Tencent, iQiyi and Sohu. The system covers not only traditional fixed networks but also 4G mobile networks. It is fully prepared for 5G popularity and deeply integrates the 5G network, MEC, and CDN service platform to deliver best user experience of video services in the future.

VR Live Broadcast via Drone

In October 2017, ZTE cooperated with Wind Tre & Open Fiber to build up Europe’s first 5G pre-commercial network in Italy, taking a significant step toward 5G commercialization in Europe. With ZTE’s commercial ultra-bandwidth, low-latency 5G mobile system used for network support, drone HD live broadcast and 360-degree panoramic VR live broadcast can be simultaneously performed. The drone and the 360-degree panoramic camera transmit the captured 4K full-view videos to the cloud CDN center through the 5G network, and then deliver them to each end user for real-time viewing through the 5G network and the CDN node. Users can enjoy the view of the drone in the air through the big screen, or 360-degree full-view immersive experience through VR glasses.

Smooth 4K/8K Broadcast

5G can provide a peak rate of 10 Gb/s, supporting HD videos that meet user needs of immersive experience. Japanese mobile communication company DOCOMO cooperated with Nokia to successfully complete the real-time transmission of 8K video test using wireless access technologies of 5G mobile communication system. This test used the H.265/HEVC coding technique and radio tracking technology to transmit millimeter-wavelength (MMW) signals at 70 GHz. In the test, 48 Gb/s 8K video was compressed by the encoder into 145–85 Mb/s, and successfully achieved transmission with no latency.
Thanks to the ultra-fast transmission rate of 5G signals, Samsung demonstrated the scene of 4K ultra HD videos transmitted wirelessly to a mobile vehicle. With the development of driverless car technology, in-car streaming media entertainment will become more and more popular. 
In China, the radio and television service will provide ultra HD broadcast TV based on the 5G/wireless interactive broadcast TV technology for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, enabling backhaul transmission of ultra HD contents as well as broadcasting and mobile receiving of ultra HD TV.


The combination of 5G with other network enhancements and technologies will allow operators to support TV services, which may gradually replace the USD 500 billion global TV and video market currently served by cable, satellite, IPTV and terrestrial TV broadcast service providers.
Although data transmission rate is the most important factor, other network technologies will also become the key to the success of 5G TV service. The feasibility of 5G TV service depends on the efficiency of end-to-end network delivery. The cases of operators such as Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Korea Telecom, AT&T and BT prove that 5G TV will appear in many places around the world in the future.
The number of homes and devices supported by 5G TV will determine the success or failure of 5G TV applications. The enhanced network technologies that can increase this figure include MIMO and beamforming optimized for spectrum utilization, virtualization of cellular base stations, dynamic throughput of backhaul network, as well as the network slicing technology and MEC+CDN that guarantee data rates to the home. 
According to the latest report from market research firm Strategy Analytics, TV and video contents may become the core of next-generation 5G wireless communication services. Recent technology demonstrations have proved 5G will be able to support data transfer rates of 1 Gbps. When combined with other network enhancement solution and technologies, 5G is expected to allow operators to support services equivalent to TV broadcast and thus to enter the USD 5 trillion global TV and video markets. They will compete with cable TV operators, satellite TV operators, internet TV operator, and terrestrial TV broadcast service providers.

T-Mobile, the third-largest mobile operator in the United States, announced its "5G First" strategy for TV market development in September 2018. "5G+TV" will be its major TV business (big screen TV) development mode. 

After the merger with Sprint, the fourth largest mobile operator in the United States, T-Mobile will provide "5G+TV" services to urban and rural users through the coverage of 5G networks across the whole country. T-Mobile will become the first mobile operator in the United States to deliver bundled "5G+TV+wireless broadband" service, with the goal of developing 9.5 million such 5G home users by 2024. 

The operators that proposed the development of "5G+TV" also include Verizon and AT&T, the top two mobile operators in the United States. In August 2018, Verizon officially announced a cooperation agreement with Apple and Google to provide 5G TV services. The rise of 5G represents the combination of multimedia and communication as well as the convergence of wireless and fixed-line services will enter the next stage.


Compared with existing wireless networks, 5G has four significant features, namely high-speed transmission, massive connection, low latency at millisecond level, and large-capacity throughput. Video accounts for more than 70% of internet traffic, and is one of many services that rely heavily on the internet. With the rise of live video broadcast and the pursuit of high-definition 4K/8K experience, 5G will better support the existing video scenarios with poor experience or unachievable and will usher in a new outbreak in the video field.

[Keywords] Short video, VR live broadcast, 4K/8K HD videos, drones, 5G TV


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