A mobile user plays from her terminal.
The number of subscribers to services distributed through 5G, the latest mobile generation, has more than 500 million users in the world and will reach 700 million by the end of the year. However, the video, which has been the locomotive of these services, “shows signs of fatigue”, according to the research director of the consultancy Omdia, María Rúa, in the We went 5G, the meeting of multinationals in the sector that closes this Friday in Seville. The relief will be assumed by a new generation of mobile games. But it won’t be enough. According to the representative of the international consultancy, the future lies in operators that offer, in addition to this leisure segment, videos, music, books, education, unlimited data… “Absolutely everything”, affirms Rúa. Some Spanish operators are already adding services to their offers, which include telemedicine, shops, insurance, internet for second homes or alarms.
China continues to lead, with 70% of users subscribed to 5G services, followed by the United States, South Korea and Japan. According to data from the Omnia researcher, Finland is the only European country included in the list of the largest consumers of products of this latest mobile generation. Spain does not go that far, but it is one of the five EU countries with the greatest implementation. The emerging market with the greatest potential is India.
The development of this technology depends on the development of applications that provide a new experience for users, access to new services and economic advantages for operators. The metaverse is waiting. But while this proposal for a parallel digital world is consolidating, the market has its sights set on online games.
But it won’t be enough. This train needs more locomotives and the main operators are already beginning to include all kinds of services in their rates while online video is losing its throne. Each household in the United States subscribes, on average, to seven offers of streaming (viewed on the network), a market that is beginning to show signs of exhaustion, as shown by the first loss of 200,000 subscribers registered by Netflix in a decade or the fact that the CNN network has closed its platform of streaming just a month after his birth.
In the game and at stake are the 100 million paying users and the 12,000 million euros that companies in the sector expect to enter in the next four years. And this business has its sights set on the cloud gaming (game in the cloud), which will allow new entertainment concepts from the phone if 5G technology continues to develop and manages to reach 40% of mobile service subscriptions.
Juan Olivares, development director of Onmobile, a company specializing in games and other mobile entertainment offers, also maintains that this line will be fundamental in the near future. “New offers and new players have been incorporated. of world revenues per gaming, 52% comes from mobile phones, the largest segment”, he explains. But to maintain the offer to these customers, 5G is needed, a generation that allows, as he says, the experience to be fast, in motion and collective, as well as opening the door to new concepts, linked to the metaverse and the senses.
“Until now”, affirms Olivares, “we have enjoyed seeing or hearing. But, from now on, we will have a multisensory experience. It will look like we will touch it.” “5G is going to give us mobility and the experience of playing with virtual reality and augmented reality, creating new forms of play that are not known to date, focused on multisensory experiences,” he summarizes.
The player is not a teenager
The user profile, according to Olivares, confirms a trend and holds a surprise. The data that is consolidated is that the game does not want to be tied: 59.4% of users play with the mobile. The unexpected fact is that the player is not a teenager (users under 24 years of age only account for 15.1%). On the contrary, the age groups with the most consumers are over 45 years old (35%), between 35 and 44 years old (29.1%) and between 25 and 34 years old (20.8%). The greater purchasing power of these profiles guarantees the promising future predicted by forecasts.
The other aspect of the development of 5G is the industry, which hopes to have, according to Narcis Cardona, professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, “efficient robotics” with haptic control (interaction by touch), gestural and remote in a much more realistic.
It will be a foretaste of the next generation, when each terminal generates information that participates in a collective artificial intelligence system. The vehicle driving, logistics and robotics industry are behind these developments.
In this sense, Cardona explains: “If we have a person who is capable of visualizing and manipulating machinery that is in a remote place, and we have already done this and have demonstrated it, or who, through immersive reality, can eventually move to another location, it will allow us to move towards much more advanced industrial or management applications. Augmented reality or immersive virtual reality would allow us to generate those digital twins that stop being a flat screen in which I have data from a set of sensors to have virtual twins that actually reproduce in three dimensions that remote scenario that I am trying to control” .
The key will be to achieve a latency (response) below a millisecond (6G hopes to reach 0.1 millisecond) for the automation, control and predictive and remote maintenance of the systems that Cardona defines as “cyber-physical”.
The professor from Valencia is more skeptical of the metaverse. “I will continue in this physical world as long as my health allows it,” he jokes. But not only because of reluctance towards a world that, at the moment, with glasses adapted to these projects, isolates from the environment, but because, according to Cardona, “it would be necessary to multiply the current capacity of the networks by a factor of between 100 and 200 ”. “That, at the moment, is dizzy in all senses, not only in terms of investments and operating costs. It would mean serving about 200 terabytes per square kilometer per hour: it’s outrageous.”