01 Oct 2019

How 5G Will Transform the Content Delivery Industry

5G general availability is a few months away, and its imminent arrival is set to revolutionize a variety of industries. This technology shift will exponentially increase the rapid rate of digital disruption we have experienced over the past two decades. The superior speeds, low latency, and higher contention support is set to transform everything from self-driving vehicles and augmented reality to streaming solutions and healthcare.

What is 5G?

5G is the next generation of mobile internet connectivity that is set to replace the existing 4G LTE standard. It promises superior upload and download speeds, improved coverage, and increased stability. However, the enhanced performance 5G offers is not merely a standard upgrade. Unlike previous mobile internet generational upgrades, 5G is a quantum leap forward in every aspect.

Transmission speeds on the next generation can reach up to 1Gbps. However, its improved latency is 5G’s particular advantage. It promises turnaround times of 1ms. When compared to the current 4G LTE average of 50ms, 5G technology is a game-changer for many industries and solutions that need instantaneous responses from connected devices.

5G Will Transform and Accelerate Innovation and Digital Disruption

Internet of Things

Due to the exponential improvement in mobile internet speed, capacity, and connectivity, 5G is expected to launch new products and services, transform business models, and create new industries. One technology platform that will benefit from the superior speed and connectivity of 5G is the Internet of Things (IoT). Enhanced connections will enable the spread of artificial intelligence and machine learning by providing solutions that collect vast amounts of data from remote sensors in real-time.


Another industry set to benefit from the launch of 5G is logistics and transportation. Although self-driving cars are already operating on public roads in some cities across the globe, the current state of networking technology is a barrier for the commercial introduction of these vehicles. Since 5G offers real-time connectivity and is capable of supporting many more devices than the current mobile internet standard, the logistics and transport industry will experience a radical transformation. Autonomous vehicles leveraging 5G technology will revolutionize this sector of the economy with connected autonomous trucks and cargo ships.


5G is also expected to transform the healthcare industry as it will make innovative solutions like telemedicine possible. Doctors will be able to perform precision surgical operations using automated medical equipment connected to a network. As surgeons no longer need to be in the same room as their patients, procedures can be performed remotely improving the quality of healthcare for people living in rural communities. In addition to the promise of telemedicine, 5G will also unlock data in wearable technologies. Performing patient monitoring in real-time provides the perfect platform for data-driven healthcare analytics. For example, wearable technology that measures a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, and sugar levels, can automatically alert a doctor if any of these vital signs exceed a certain threshold. They could also administer medication automatically ensuring the patient survives a life-threatening episode.


Over the past two and a half decades, a wave of innovation has swept across both business and society. The commercialization of the Internet in the mid-1990s has transformed every aspect of our daily lives forever altering the way we work, communicate, and interact with technology. The creation of large amounts of data has been a catalyst driving the innovation we see today in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As 5G promises to connect many more devices to this global singularity, it will create exponentially broader datasets that will drive further advances in AI and automation.


The automation that 5G promises to unleash is expected to have a significant impact on production. From the design and creation phase to the final delivery of the end product to consumers and businesses, the enhanced connectivity and speed of 5G will unleash a wave of innovation. Technologies such as augmented reality, autonomous production lines, and sensor-driven networks will increase productivity and efficiency exponentially.

The Impact of 5G on the Content Delivery Industry

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a vital part of the Internet’s infrastructure. Without a CDN, the apps and services we use each day would not perform, and the experience we take for granted would not exist. As CDNs cache content on nodes located across the globe, they shorten the distance between users and services, enhancing the performance of applications and websites. 

Mobile CDN video is an excellent example of the impact Content Delivery Networks have had on daily user services. Giving users the ability to access high-definition, rich video content on their mobile devices has transformed the way we access entertainment, news, and other multimedia services we use regularly. However, the challenge with mobile video content is that it consumes bandwidth. As the popularity of mobile video has grown, networks have struggled with contention ratios as more and more people turn to this communication medium.

As 5G not only promises to deliver substantial performance improvements in speed but also a significant increase in the number of devices a single node can manage, it has the potential to transform the content delivery industry. Effectively, 5G will resolve the current challenges of network congestion and bandwidth consumption that hinders this sector. This transformation promises to revolutionize mobile video. Solutions converging multiple sources such as live feeds from broadcast cameras to video-on-demand services into a single platform will create greater efficiencies and improve performance.

5G and Content Delivery Networks

As mobile networks across the globe commence their 5G rollouts, the vital services CDNs provide will unlock a new wave of innovation and digital transformation. The historical barriers to entry of speed and contention ratios will disappear, creating new industries, services, and solutions. However, even though the evolution of the network layer promises to unleash a new wave of digital disruption, content providers will still need to store their data on an infrastructure platform. As a CDN already has the appropriate mechanisms in place, their role in the 5G landscape will be significant. Whether it be edge computing, mobile video delivery, or even API hosting, CDNs will enable the rapid transformation 5G promises to unleash.