A 5G Future Explored by Zixi at the Streaming Media East Connect 2021

Posted May 28, 2021

5G Panel for Streaming Media East Connect


VP Business Development Eric Bolton discusses the power of 5G and its implications on live video delivery at Streaming Media East Connect

Streaming Media, hosted their annual Streaming Media East Connect 2021, a two-week series of video webinars taking place May 17 – 27 to discuss the world of streaming video through thought leadership discussions, in-depth trainings, research presentations and educational programs with some of the leading companies in video streaming technology.

To kick off the show, Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, VP & Editor-in-Chief of Streaming Media led a discussion with Zixi’s VP of Business Development Eric Bolten and Executive Director of Streaming Video Alliance Jason Thibeault through a glimpse into the future of Live Streaming, Encoding & Transcoding, OTT and more through the lens of 5G delivery. The two industry leaders answered a variety of questions ranging from 5G infrastructure requirements, benefits and potential applications, to methods of implementation.

The biggest takeaway from the discussion? 5G technology enables a seemingly endless array of applications, use cases, and delivery methods from B2B to B2C that business are only beginning to imagine.

B2B Streaming Applications for 5G

Eric and Jason pointed out one of the best examples of 5G applications its impact on live events – in particular, live sports and betting in-house. For example, before 5G, at some stadiums you could go to a game and wouldn’t be able to send a text or video. With 5G, you will be able to not only rapidly send high-quality messages and content to friends, but also be able to place bets play-to-play. The capacity for 5G to create and connect more devices at low latency will result in more interactive experiences from anywhere.

The panelists discussed the main B2B applications for 5G networks, including:

  • Contribution: Studio Anywhere, Untethered Production
  • Distribution: To MSO/IRD, To OTT, Direct to Consumer
  • Public Experiences: Sports/Concerts, TV Shows, Movies, and Venues
  • Outside M&E: Autonomous vehicles, Healthcare, Military, Eminently deployable

Both panelists acknowledged that crucial infrastructure like 5G routers and tower coverage are certainly still developing. But it’s clear that given the potential uses of the technology, 5G’s seemingly limitless connectivity capabilities will lead to a high-powered wireless world before we know it.

To put this in context, Intel has estimated that 5G will Drive $1.3 Trillion in New Revenues in Media and Entertainment Industry by 2028. From a B2B perspective, this means 5G will inevitably shake up the media and entertainment landscape (amongst others) and will be a major competitive asset and differentiator if companies adapt. If not, they risk failure or even extinction.

What makes 5G so Crucial to the future of Distribution?

To understand the implications of 5G, Eric explained the need to consider the separate components of the media supply chain that will be directly impacted by its emergence: the 5 Cs.

  • Content – There will be greater amounts of content at a higher quality, flowing faster5G phone bi-directionally –  not just to the consumer, but back to and/or between organizations
  • Cloud – 5G in combination with cloud broadcast infrastructure, such as Zixi as a Service (ZaaS), will enable media companies and service providers to quickly leverage SaaS to ingest and distribute live video over IP with ultra-low latency, with the ability to easily scale to add new partners
  • Carrier Global carriers are enhancing value for both existing and potential customers by switching to Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), edge computing using cellular networks utilizing 5G as its primary connectivity, which is far more efficient in delivering a massive increase in the number of connected devices and systems as opposed to traditional cloud architecture
  • Cellular – While Las Vegas and Levi’s Stadium serve as examples in major markets of successful 5G deployments, widespread deployment has the potential to affect surrounding areas and cities dramatically. 30+ cities have already adopted the technology, with more starting to expand their infrastructure; realizing benefits that include significantly improved upload and download speeds, connectivity and quality of experience. We expect 5G cellular infrastructure to grow exponentially as 5G’s implications for users are realized and adopted
  • Consumer – Applications getting pushed out further with a 5G enabling the capacity for amazingly complex and useful tools, allowing consumers to take part in video capture, creation and delivery over 5G from their handheld devices

We always talk about the bandwidth as the area 5G with impact day-to-day function, but in reality customers don’t visualize the difference between 270p and 4K – 5G will really be  all about the latency. With 5G, consumers can truly experience video as an immersive, real-time content experience.

To summarize the expected benefits 5G will bring:

  • The lowest latency possible and increased speed of delivery
  • More accessible, higher quality content for the end consumer
  • Cost savings thanks to reduced fixed infrastructure requirements
  • Ability to integrate with the cloud
  • A larger, more interconnected and responsive network of devices (IoT)
  • Faster responsiveness, for example with managers and engineers, means the ability to carry out critical streaming functions or critical broadcast functions in real-time response to user actions
  • Content creators increase distribution of original content to end consumers, maintaining quality


View the full 5G conversation here:


Take Advantage of 5G Capabilities with Zixi

As a pioneer in video delivery over 5G, Zixi is currently in production with a major broadcaster for delivery over Verizon 5G networks using AWS Wavelength Zone technology to allow distribution of 4K UHD streams to commercial targets at ultra-low latency.

Learn more about what 5G can do for your organization.