Dear Startup Investor,
Surely, you’ve heard all of the discussion surrounding the rollout of 5G in recent months.
While Verizon and AT&T agreed to temporarily halt rollouts and limit the usage of 5G within a select radius of airports (more on that later), there is no stopping this train (or, perhaps more aptly, flight) when it comes to connectivity’s progress.
So, what exactly is the appeal of 5G, and why is it so important to mobile providers and interconnected companies alike?
The Power of 5G
Consider a 2-hour movie.
Using current 4G capabilities, a 2-hour movie would take approximately 6 minutes to download.
Now, if you were to tell someone this fact 20 years ago, their eyes would pop out of their head. However, we are spoiled; that’s not fast enough in today’s digital age of instant gratification, and if technology exists to speed that process up, you can rest assured it will be implemented and capitalized upon.
With fully enabled 5G capability, that same 2-hour movie downloads in a mind-splitting 3.6 seconds.
Essentially, this will rewrite what was deemed possible in remote internet capability. Where video-chat correspondences disconnected from Wi-Fi lag and falter, 5G would grant users seamless interconnectivity regardless of their location, experiencing little-to-no drop off in performance.
What’s the Hold Up?
There is still going to be a delay until reaching full coverage for American citizens. As of now, AT&T expects to cover 70 million people with 5G service by the end of 2022, with up to 200 million by 2023. T-Mobile currently offers 5G to 200 million subscribers; that number is projected to grow next year. Meanwhile, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband went live this month, however it is currently restricted to those living in major metropolitan markets.
As previously mentioned, there has been some pushback toward the implementation of 5G access, most notably from airline companies. January 15, airlines canceled a whopping 470 flights, and before AT&T and Verizon granted restrictions to 5G service near airports January 19, airlines had already canceled 260 flights that day.
The conflict comes from the airplanes’ altimeter technology – the devices on planes that register altitudes, warn pilots of in-flight obstacles and assists with the landing capabilities of planes in low-visibility conditions. As it turns out, the frequencies used by 5G services operate on similar airwaves as does this century-old flight technology.
While 62% of airplanes have been cleared for use with 5G interference, it would still be an expensive, timely endeavor to install new technology in the 38% that have not.
As of now, 5G services have been halted in regions within 2 miles of airports to negate this risk. However, the momentum will not be stopped with the planned rollouts elsewhere, and 5G will be here to stay (or at least until 6G arrives…).
Two Startups Raising Right Now
It will also have sweeping effects on technology, opening the door of opportunity for technological innovations previously deemed beyond the scope.
As you know, opportunity for technological innovation is a startup’s bread and butter. This means there will be a slew of new companies looking to capitalize on the newfound capabilities. In fact, there already are.
Terbine is a startup that is seeking to commoditize and index previously closed-loop data systems. By making all of this machine-generated data (don’t worry we’re not talking about personal data like names, dates of birth, etc.) searchable, businesses are able to access and exchange data through Terbine’s AI-and-blockchain powered system.
Without 5G connection, Terbine will be unable to process and fulfill the forecasted billions of data transactions per day.
The Artificial Intelligence Economic Development Corporation (more conveniently referred to as AIEDC) is a startup that utilizes 5G connectivity for an AI-powered app-creation service. Through its service, it allows small and mid-sized businesses to focus on their actual work without worrying about the complicated ins and outs of coding and development.
The 5G service is crucial to AIEDC’s ability to operate its machine-learning system, as this level of computation and artificial intelligence requires complementarily strong connectivity.
These are just a couple examples of ways that 5G will usher us into a new realm of technological innovation, and as access to this high-speed capability increases, the developments utilizing its power should follow suit.
The Research Team