Media and Entertainment in the 5G era are their own ecosystem of ecosystems, ruled by one or more AIs that choose the best videos, and e-sports contents. Mixed reality will change entertainment forever.
Trento University has recently jumped ahead of Siena to become the best university in Italy. According to Censis researchers, international outlook and occupational results are highest at Trento, enabling the best overall result in Italy. This little university, with fewer than 20,000 students, is also paving the way for multimedia enhancements. It’s no surprise that their knowledgeis good, and they have strong use cases on 5G-related changes in the media industry.
Let’s start with VaaS, video-as-a-service
Francesco De Natale, Computer Science professor at the University of Trento, introduced the evolving media landscape during the 2019 5G Italy event in Rome.
“5G is an enabling technology in communications; at the same time, it is a meta-enabling technology also for big data, near-real-time analytics, and VR/AR”.
These are exciting times for all 5G developers.
The basic element for today’s business models is still very much the video content. Video accounts for 60% of all mobile bandwidth consumption today, and is expected to grow to 80% in the next 4 to 5 years. Mature ecosystems built around video consumption will create big market opportunities.
The structure of new 5G wireless technology is very close to that of cloud computing, so it’s no surprise that video is expected to be 5G’s killer application. This will be the business model after the service launches, while other models are being developed for new services.
5G will be the enabling factor for new services and new formats in content creation – users demand ever-increasing quality and personalization of services in content consumption.
Three main characteristics will help meet QoE expectations: network slicing (guaranteed service level), bandwidth (higher quality, higher diversity), and latency (faster interaction). Thanks to the new level of service it offers, 5G will empower other mainstream technologies; data science and AI (content/service personalization), IoT (smart environments, gaming), and VR/AR (immersive, hyper-realism) will become the pillars of the new mobile entertainment.
Portable broadcast units are emerging as the new standard. We can already see that the main enabling factors and breakthroughs – huge bandwidth, coding (HEVC), and UHD (4k, 5k) on mobile – will allow for easier deployment with the help of network slicing. At the same time, multiple-camera streaming, as well as multiple-audio channels, will be available in studio quality, but with full mobility.
This new approach needs to find a place in the new, complex environment. “Content is set inside an ecosystem, or a set of ecosystems, managed by an AI”, points out Luca Balestrieri, Platform and Distribution Director at RAI. “We are no longer experiencing disintermediation, but Content as a Service with extreme fluidity, guaranteed by the lowest latency, in all physical environments, such as home, work, city”.
Revolution! Sports in 5G
Sport and games will merge in a new model of reality, leveraging new technology and breakthroughs.
Gaming will be empowered by 5G’s enabling factors: massive machine communication, IoT, and low latency (< 25ms). The breakthroughs of this new technology add true realtime interaction to immersive VR/AR, moving towards a hyper-realistic experience.
The technological enabling factors are numerous and very challenging: camera networks, 360-degree vision, realtime access on both fixed and mobile connections, intense data analytics.
A real revolution will be offered by software publishers. Among the new possibilities on offer we will see multi-view personalized access, realtime statistics, live replay, chat, VR/AR from home.
e-Sports: 5G will rule out PA mistakes
We are behind on e-sports in Italy, but we are ahead on mobile technology, for which the overall system is fine. As the infrastructure grows, so does use. Even if Italian rules don’t consider this a great chance, 5G market penetration is a great opportunity to override this reluctance and create a great business.
“If you look for success, you have to start from the bottom, working with your community”, explains Daniel Schmidhofer, Ceo, Progaming Italia. Most successful games come from community-based changes to an original software: this is the case for the League of legend multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game in the three-dimensional isometric perspective, Dota (Defense from the ancients, inspired by Warcraft III), and Fortnite itself. Even Counter-strike is a modification of a previous game, Half-Life.
“The best games in circulation today have developed in this way, with game modes that come from users and not from software houses”, says Schmidhofer. That’s why Progaming are pushing e-sports in Italy, where the Public Administration doesn’t see them as a lever for industry and workplaces.
“We work with software publishers, exposing APIs that make us available to interact with the game but also with specific information on scores and specific occasions”. Data are then used to increase players, streamers, and all businesskey points.
The publisher provides the APIs and we extract data and relevant links. Bees can also be developed by the publisher (alone or with us), by us alone, or bystandard APIs.
Inserting virtual cameras is another success keypoint. Fifa is also exploring the possibility of developing new types of football games, perhaps mixing real and mixed realities. Experimentation has no limits!