To Boingo Chief Technology Officer Derek Peterson, there are no such things as threats. Everything is an opportunity. This mantra holds true with regards to cable companies and 5G as well.
It's easy to see how 5G could be seen as a threat to cable in that it offers robust network capacity and fast speeds well suited for video streaming, which is increasing in popularity and leading to cable cord cutting already. But, Peterson says, the industry needs more convergence and collaboration to take advantage of new technologies and make networks better, rather than to see them as a threat.
Boingo is already collaborating with cable companies now, including its work with Xfinity to offer what he calls "pre-5G" kiosks at airports. These let travelers download content, such as a movie for in-flight viewing, right before take off. Right now, the kiosks use WiFi, but Peterson says when millimeter wave is available, the kiosks' antennas can easily be switched out to get content even faster over 5G.
Another way for cable companies to benefit from 5G is through how they serve the multiple dwelling unit (MDU) market. Right now, it's often challenging to reach these buildings and serve the large number of separate subscribers inside, but using 5G antennas for the last mile to reach a building and propagate inside of it is a good opportunity for cable companies, Peterson says.
Check out the video below, from Light Reading's recent Cable Next-Gen Conference in Denver, for more of the insights Peterson shared with Light Reading Senior Editor Kelsey Ziser on cable's role in a 5G world.
— Sarah Thomas, Contributing Editor, Telco Transformation