Each year, the world becomes increasingly connected.
From smartphones and smart TVs to autonomous cars able to communicate with other vehicles on the road, it’s all part of the emergence of a vast network of devices and technologies called the Internet of Things (IoT).
Just as the internet connected personal computers, the IoT is connecting all kinds of smart devices.
But there’s an underlying trend that is supporting this fast-growing network.
It’s the evolving infrastructure of mobile broadband networks.
Most data traffic today occurs using fourth-generation (4G) mobile networks.
But we’re on the cusp of the fifth generation. 5G networks can support our modern data usage needs.
AT&T (NYSE: T) – one of the biggest mobile data providers in the U.S. – reported that data traffic across its mobile network has risen more than 470,000% since 2007.
Between 2018 and 2022, mobile data and internet traffic is expected to more than quadruple, from about 19 exabytes per month to about 78 exabytes…
Interestingly, though Asia-Pacific is the region with the most data traffic, the Middle East and Africa are expected to see the biggest rise in data traffic, at an annual growth rate of about 53%.
With rising data usage worldwide, broadband networks will need a major upgrade.
In late 2018, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) began the progressive rollout of its pre-standards 5G network to stay ahead of its competition and continue its market dominance. The company expects to roll out a standards-based 5G network sometime this year.
Verizon also released the world’s first 5G-upgradable smartphone – the Moto Z3 – with Motorola (NYSE: MSI). And it plans to release another 5G-enabled phone with Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) this year.
This seems to be working for Verizon. It was one of the few Dow component stocks that booked double-digit gains (with dividends reinvested) in 2018.
Now, last year, the global 5G infrastructure market was estimated to be worth $1.3 billion.
In 2025 – only six years from now – it’s expected to reach $22.5 billion.
By then, at least 20% of mobile data traffic is expected to be carried on 5G networks.
So as mobile networks prepare to shift into fifth gear, investors should seek out strategic long-term investments to capitalize on the coming change.
Source: Energy & Resources Digest