Written By: Jeff Kagan
5G wireless broadband is coming and will unleash a new competitive battle for high-speed Internet. Cable TV executives say they understand that they will soon be competing against something new but are not concerned. What raises concerns to me—and should to you—is if they don’t think they are in for the competitive battle of their life. They are.While they have done a good job with wire line broadband in recent years, this new product can do more and offer more reason for the customer to switch. That means it will upset the apple cart and become a real competitive threat.
What to expect with new 5G wireless Internet and pay TV
Let’s take a look at what we can expect from cable TV in this battle over next few years.The first matter is that the cable TV industry must understand the real threat they face. The senior level executives must understand and prepare. What they are doing so far is downplaying the threat, saying they feel comfortable with their current position in the industry and are not worried.Whatever their position, they must give the marketplace
confidence they are always prepared for and ready for the next threat. That is something they are not doing today.
Cable TV faces new 5G mobile broadband threat
Let me suggest that they consider other companies who didn’t see the threat they faced either. Companies like Motorola, Palm, Blackberry, Nokia and others in the wireless handset sector.These were companies who led the wireless handset space for decades, then lost it all virtually overnight when the Apple iPhone and Google Android appeared on the scene and took over leadership.This is the threat the cable television industry faces with 5G wireless broadband. This is the next, big, real threat they face.Do they understand? They say yes, they understand, but are not concerned. This is unwise in a competitive and rapidly changing marketplace. They must always be concerned even if it’s just to keep their investors, workers and users confident. They are missing the mark here.Remember, the cable TV industry has already gone through enormous changes in the last decade. The primary service of the cable TV industry was cable TV. Then things started to change.
Xfinity, Spectrum, Altice, Cox face real competitive threat from 5G wireless broadband
Suddenly Comcast created Xfinity and Charter Communications created Spectrum. They both focused more on high-speed Internet as their primary offering.Today, the primary service of companies like Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Altice and Cox is no longer cable TV. It is high-speed Internet.Cable TV is part of the larger package of course, along with wireless phone, VoIP telephone and other services. But they are just the legs of the stool. High-speed Internet has become the main service, supported by all the rest.This has served them well for the last several years, but the industry continues to change. That means the threat continues. New competitors and new technologies continue to roll across the marketplace and reinvent all the services customers use.
5G wireless broadband is new competitor in high-speed Internet game
The next big change wave is 5G wireless high-speed Internet. This will enable users to have an Internet connection wherever they are, whether that be in their home or, with some carriers, anywhere in the United States over wireless networks.Wireless 5G Internet can come in two different packages. One way is delivering a high-speed connection to the home using wireless technology. The other way is delivering a high-speed mobile connection to the user wherever they are and on whatever device they are using.This means the traditional high-speed Internet competitors are all facing this significant threat. This means cable TV competitors are in the crosshairs of these new, wireless replacement services and providers.
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint new competitors in 5G wireless broadband
Some providers of traditional landline Internet will also offer a 5G wireless version. These may be companies like AT&T and Verizon who offer both. Other companies like T-Mobile and Sprint have said they will enter this space as well. This is more of a wireless-only pay TV play.There are also other, smaller wireless providers in certain geographic areas which may participate. Companies like C Spire Wireless, US Cellular and more. Any way you slice it, this marketplace is about to transform once again.I see 5G wireless pay TV exploding as a viable competitor into the marketplace in the next several years. We’ll just have to wait and see how this impacts the traditional cable TV providers and how they react.
5G wireless pay TV will explode onto the marketplace
I expect some existing competitors will be fine. These are the companies who see the changing wave coming and who will ride it to success. Others will deny the threat, and they will struggle. Those are the companies who either deny there is a threat or who don’t see the threat at all.So far, they all seem to be saying they see 5G wireless Internet coming, but they aren’t worried. I hope this is just some competitive response to keep their cards close to the vest, and that they are actually, actively working on a solution to this threat which is real.One way or another, 5G wireless broadband Internet is coming. It will impact and potentially transform the entire Internet and pay TV industry. And it could happen very quickly. Perhaps as quickly as the change wave that swept Blackberry, Motorola and Nokia off the playing field.The real question is, what is the strategy of the cable TV companies with this new threat? Threats are real. Saying they see the coming problem but are not concerned is not a strategy for success with investors, workers, customers and more.Related: Peloton’s Controversial Ad Creates Quick Opportunity for Traders to Make 15 Percent