By Kris Sayce, editor, Casey Daily Dispatch
It’s easy to forget how quickly change happens.
A new technology comes along, and it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
It doesn’t seem like an innovation at all.
It’s only when we step back… and we think about how things were three, five, 10, or 20 years ago… that we see how things have changed.
That’s happening right now. In a big way.
A new tech is transforming how businesses and consumers interact.
We’re talking about 5G…
If this is your first time reading the Dispatch, welcome. If you’ve been here before, welcome back.
At the Dispatch, we have two goals:
To introduce you to the most important investing themes of the day, and
To show you how to profit from them.
We do this by showcasing ideas from our in-house investing experts: Dave Forest, John Pangere, and the founder of our business, Doug Casey.
Today’s Dispatch focuses on one of the hottest investment trends: 5G. We’ll be looking at the tech side of the trend, how quickly things have changed, and the bigger changes coming.
2,300x Increase in Internet Traffic
At the basic level, wireless technology is about transferring data from one place to another.
And 5G is about transferring that data faster than ever before.
Transferring data isn’t a new idea. It has been around for decades. The U.S. military was the first to do it in 1948.
The earliest known commercial use was in the 1960s.
Back then, it was basic stuff, and in small volumes.
But roll forward 60 years… and things have changed. In fact, a lot has changed in just the last 20 years.
For instance, in 2000, according to computer networking company Cisco, global internet traffic totaled 84 petabytes per month. In 2020, Cisco estimated it was around 194,400 petabytes per month.
That means monthly global internet traffic is more than 2,300 times greater today than it was in 2000.
With numbers this size, it’s almost too much to comprehend. But to put it in a way that may make some sense, ComputerWeekly.com says:
If the average MP3 [music track]… is around 1MB per minute, and the average song lasts about four minutes, then a petabyte of songs would last over 2,000 years playing continuously.
We’re talking big numbers.
Of course, there’s a reason why internet traffic has increased so much. It’s not just because there are more people online. It’s because the technology has improved to allow the fast transfer of data.
Think about how you used the internet back in 2000. Browsing static websites… email… perhaps basic online games.
And remember, YouTube didn’t exist in 2000. It wasn’t founded until 2005. And even if the founders had come up with the idea in 2000, it wouldn’t have taken off.
It wasn’t much fun watching videos on a 56k or 128k modem back then.
But as technology improved, video became viable. And the quality of images and graphics, and the download speeds, improved drastically (downloading is, of course, transferring data from one place to another).
And now with 5G, data transfer speeds are even faster. And that will open even more technological possibilities…
This Wouldn’t Have Seemed Possible 20 Years Ago
Colleague Dave Forest is all over this story.
He tells us that the new 5G mobile technology will deliver download speeds up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology.
He demonstrated it, too… by downloading Gone With The Wind – a four-hour movie – in less than two minutes on his 5G phone.
In the same amount of time, on a 4G phone, he was only able to download 1% of the total movie.
But this is more than just downloading old movies in a couple minutes…
The exciting part is what it means for technological progress. And how 5G will help drive that.
More speed means less latency (delay). That means less delay for the data to get from Point A to Point B. That’s vital when data transfer between two points absolutely must happen as soon as possible, in real time.
5G will allow that. It will have a radical impact on many sectors and innovations: like self-driving cars and telemedicine. But it’ll affect other areas, too, such as education, remote communications, video streaming, and more.
Remember how much things have changed over the past 20 years. How the things technology allows you to do today wouldn’t have seemed possible 20 years ago.
Now take that and think how much things could change (for the better) in the next few months and years, as 5G networks result in data transfer speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G.
It’s no wonder Dave is so excited about this tech. And perhaps more so, he’s excited about the investment opportunities. Make sure you check out how to access Dave’s research here.
Editor, Casey Daily Dispatch