Wireless pay TV is growing, and that growth will only accelerate with 5G in the next couple years. AT&T DirecTV NOW started the party by offering wireless pay TV over the last year or two. Based on their success, Verizon says they will follow. The same with T-Mobile who acquired Layer3 TV and plans to offer their own version of wireless pay TV very soon. Who else will jump into the mix?
I am getting very excited to see this new wireless pay TV marketplace. It looks like T-Mobile may be next up to bat when they introduce theirs in the next few months. They acquired Level3 TV a year ago. I thought we would have seen something in the market already. Apparently, the engineering is taking longer than expected.
Wireless pay TV will ride 5G growth wave over next few years
The next several years will be very exciting in the wireless industry. The move to 5G is just the next big step. Think of 5G as the big bang that will start the entire creative bandwagon which will impact and transform many companies in many industries, not just wireless. This is the growth wave wireless pay TV will ride.
The moves from 2G to 3G to 4G were all about the wireless industry. However, the move to 5G is greater than that. It will impact and transform wireless as always, but it will also unleash the power of wireless in so many new ways it will make our head spin in the next few years.
Think of the way 4G transformed the taxi and limousine industries with Uber and Lyft. That is what we can expect from the pay TV world as well.
5G will transform industries like Uber and Lyft transformed taxi and limo space
The only question is how deep will the changes go? 5G wireless pay TV could just add another slice to the entertainment pie, or it could completely redefine the space.
The same way the Internet transformed cable TV over the last decade, 5G wireless will transform it once again and make everything mobile.
That means we can watch TV on our smartphones or tablets anywhere in the USA over the wireless networks. That also means we will be able to sign up for pay TV service for our home and office, but instead of connecting through the wired Internet, we will connect wirelessly.
This will bring new waves of competitive pressure to the entire industry similar to the changes we have seen over the last decade. A decade ago, pay TV was pretty much owned by the traditional cable television industry.
Only some companies will stick with the changing growth wave
Things have changed over the last decade. Traditional cable TV has lost market share to new competitors and new technologies. Some traditional cable TV companies have stayed current and continue to grow. Others have not kept up with the change wave and are left behind as the growth wave moves on ahead without them.
Leaders of the traditional cable TV world are still just fine. Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum and Altice seem to be dodging the bullet and continue to grow. They are sticking with the changing growth wave. Some smaller cable TV competitors are not doing as well.
During the last decade, AT&T and Verizon got into pay TV with Uverse and FiOS. Then several years ago AT&T acquired DirecTV NOW and intensified the competitive thrust.
Today’s pay TV leaders are AT&T DirecTV NOW and Comcast Xfinity
Today, AT&T DirecTV NOW leads the pay TV space along with Comcast Xfinity. That is a completely different model for this industry. And that change is only continuing and accelerating.
It will be interesting to watch how wireless continues to transform pay TV in coming year with 5G. I expect some existing players to offer a wireless pay TV service and stick with the moving growth wave. I also expect others will not. They may find themselves wondering what happened in coming years.
I also expect wireless pay TV to be offered by newer players like wireless carriers. In addition, I expect there to be newer players to this space entering the competitive marketplace.
The new path that pay TV will take over next decade
What I am saying is the pay TV world is about to experience a giant growth wave which will transform everything. In coming years, we could see so many providers of wireless pay TV enter the competitive marketplace.
Then over time, that large number of smaller competitors will start to merge. What we will eventually end up with is a new pay TV space with fewer, but larger, national competitors that offer services both over wire line and wireless connections.
This is the same model that transformed wireless and traditional cable TV over the last few decades. And this new 5G journey is just beginning with the first wireless pay TV offerings.
That’s why I am so excited to see what T-Mobile has in store for us with their new wireless pay TV offering. I am also excited to see every new offering from every competitor in this changing and growing space.
The next decade will be very exciting. There will be plenty of home runs and strike outs. It’s all part of the big game that has just begun. So, get ready. The game has begun!
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