5G Set to Disrupt Telecom Status Quo

A handful of very important trends will shape the communications sector in the years ahead.

It seems like some we’ve been hearing about forever. And the suspense is killing me.

Of course, no trend has captured the imagination of businesses, consumers and investors alike more than 5G.

This leap forward from 4G is what will make other disruptive digital trends possible… or, at the very least, bring them closer to reality.

Goodbye, 4G

We’ve already started to see carriers dip their toes into the 5G rollouts.

A few months ago, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) flipped the switch on parts of its 5G network in Chicago and Minneapolis. This was momentous. The first real 5G network went live!

Verizon plans to have 5G connectivity in 30 cities by the end of 2019.

The promise is that 5G will allow download speeds of 1 gigabyte per second.

This will allow the mobile download of full-length movies in mere seconds.

However, Verizon’s initial speed expectation is a more tepid 450 megabytes per second.

Since May, Sprint has had operating 5G networks in nine key cities across the country: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

And in 2020, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is scheduled to release three 5G-enabled iPhone models.

But a lot of the networks will come online later this year. That means a lot of companies are in a period where 4G spending is declining – and 5G spending will be intermittent to start.

The bottom line is this: It’s finally here!

After years of hype, 5G is slowly but surely becoming a reality across the U.S. And this will be one of the most transformative technology adoptions in communications history.

Analysts are projecting 5G will win the hearts of consumers faster than 4G did.

Of course, this means that smartphone in your pocket is already outdated. And you’ll have to upgrade to take advantage of the speed and benefits of 5G.

Uniting the Globe

Now, this is a transitional period for the U.S. and the broader communications sector.

But 5G isn’t just an American thing. There are 70 5G trials currently underway worldwide.

Chart - 5G Coverage Map

Japanese carriers just started their own 5G rollouts. And later this year, Chinese carriers will begin theirs.

This is a global opportunity.

We’re about to enter what some are calling the “post-smartphone era.”

5G’s higher speeds and lower latency will help foster the growth of augmented and virtual reality, self-driving cars, and the Internet of Things.

This isn’t just about faster smartphones and tablets.

Those are merely the launching pads for things to come.

Good investing,

Matthew