Three Ways to Play the 5G Megatrend

03/03/2017 7:00 am EST


Rob DeFrancesco

Founder, Tech-Stock Prospector

Get ready for 5G, the next phase of the Mobile Megatrend. In addition to being super fast, the new standard will be much more power efficient and responsive, asserts Rob DeFrancesco, editor of the Tech-Stock Prospector.

Expect peak downloads of 20 Gbps and less than one millisecond of latency.  Movie downloads that take six minutes on 4G will be completed in 15 seconds. Higher data rates will prevent networks from bogging down.

The 5G technology will also be well suited to power always-on, low-data-rate connections. It will drive the Internet of Things (IoT), supporting a vast intelligent sensor network that will continuously gather data.

Imagine a proactive collection of sensors making home life and work endeavors easier. Augmented reality, drone networks will all benefit from 5G advancements. A few companies are well positioned on the inside track when it comes to 5G.

Intel (INTC) will see its server and networking businesses get a boost from increased data traffic and analytics.

Intel’s IoT unit should begin to ramp (and become a bigger contributor to total revenue) because it provides a platform to seamlessly and securely connect devices, sensors and databases.

In Q4, the IoT Group was among Intel’s fastest growing units, with revenue expanding 16% to $726 million.

Qualcomm (QCOM) is another chipmaker making major progress on the 5G front. The company’s X50 5G modem is designed to support early 5G networks.

Qualcomm has developed the 5G New Radio (NR) standard for a new OFDM-based air interface designed to support a wide variety of 5G devices, services, deployments and spectrum.

Among Qualcomm’s accomplishments: 5G adaptive beam-forming and beam tracking technologies, which enable sustained broadband communications in non-line-of-sight environments.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) is a key infrastructure provider behind 5G. Its networking solutions will help service providers handle the expected eight-fold increase in mobile data traffic (80% video) over the next four years. Cisco’s expertise in mobile backhaul and front-haul will come into play.

Front-haul is necessary for the build-out of small cell networks; 5G will heavily use small cell networks to eliminate dead zones in mobile networks. Front-haul is also an important element in delivering ultra- low latency across 5G networks.

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