2021 has been the year that 5G has ramped up, with streaming video among the early success use cases but while current network capabilities support such connectivity, technical limitations could impede further rollout says a study from Global Wireless Solutions (GWS).

EE Netflix Android 11 Aug 2021

e with mobile devices able to conduct livestreams and video calls, a third had inadequate speeds to either watch or broadcast a live HD stream effectively. This was defined as speeds less than 5 Mbps to watch and 4.5 Mbps to broadcast. Respondents on the O2 network complained the least among the customers of the four big mobile operators when asked which issues impacted their ability to both watch and initiate a livestream.

Specific issues included sound, low picture quality or video freezing. Over half (51%) of O2 customers reported no issues watching livestreamed content, whereas only 42% of both EE and Vodafone customers, and 37% of those on Three, reported no issues. Customers on these three networks also reported audio and picture quality issues at much higher rates, with over a quarter (26%) of those on EE encountering poor sound quality and 27% of Three customers reporting a fuzzy or low-quality picture when watching a livestreamed event, while 27% of Vodafone customers experienced issues with livestreams freezing.

“The increased importance of high-quality streaming services, enabled by reliable connectivity, shows that the UK must continue to embrace technological innovation and invest in its digital infrastructure,” said Global Wireless Solutions CEO Paul Carter. “5G technology, with its reliability, super-fast speeds and low latency, provides an answer to this issue. Investments in 5G technology will ensure this is an option open to all.”