By Stephen McBride
An unusual race recently took place at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. Former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson lined up at the 40-yard line… While an average guy named Ricky stood in the end zone.
Keyshawn’s challenge was to run 40 yards faster than Ricky could download an episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks to his smartphone. Ricky won. He downloaded the hour-long show in 3.6 seconds.
Keyshawn never had a chance. Because Ricky was using Verizon’s blazing, blistering, jaw-droppingly fast new cell network called 5G.
5G Will Come Faster Than We Thought
If you feel like you’ve been waiting forever for 5G to make its debut, you’re not alone… 5G is the most disruptive trend of this decade. Many readers have asked me: What’s taking so long?
Progress may feel slow because 5G phones aren’t mainstream yet. But 5G is actually coming online much faster than analysts predicted just two years ago. The next year or so will be a very, very exciting time to own the right 5G stocks.
In a minute, I’ll give you a few of my top 5G stock picks. First, let me get you up to speed on all the exciting things happening in 5G.
NFL Stadiums Have Turned into 5G Testing Grounds
Verizon has launched its new 5G network in 13 NFL stadiums. AT&T brought its new 5G network to AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play. The point is to make games more fun for fans.
At AT&T Stadium, for example, fans can participate in augmented reality (AR) experiences that were impossible before 5G. AR, if you’re not familiar, overlays digital imagery in real life.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone, for example, point the camera towards Cowboy stadium as you walk in. You’ll see 36-foot tall digital versions of Dallas Cowboy players yelling chants to hype you up.
Once you’re in the stadium, you can do a touchdown dance, and digital Dallas Cowboys will dance with you. You can even dodge AR defensive robots on the field as you try to score a touchdown in a new mobile game.
These AR experiences require massive amounts of data to move extremely fast. None of it is possible without 5G.
Chicago Has Turned into a 5G Testing Ground, Too
Verizon launched its 5G network in parts of the city back in April. It was the first commercial launch of 5G in the world. A man named Danny Winget traveled around the city testing the network.
The download speeds he reported were incredible… 10X faster than the fastest 4G connections.
When fully deployed, the networks should reach peak speeds of 100X faster than 4G.
5G Is Not Just About Download Speeds
Patrick Holland, editor at CNET, recently tested AT&T’s 5G network at the Shape conference in Los Angeles. Holland downloaded seven one-hour episodes of Blue Planet in under 17 seconds.
It took me the same amount of time to download just the first episode. And I was logged into my home high-speed broadband internet connection!
But 5G isn’t just about virtually instant download speeds.
Soon it will let you:
- Attend a meeting in New York as a hologram from the comfort of your home;
- Get around safely in a self-driving car—even if you drank a little too much wine on date night;
- For you surgeons reading this, you’ll be able to operate on patients hundreds of miles away over a wireless network using robots.
This Future Is Not Far Off
In fact, the early stages of the 5G “awakening” are happening right now. The average guy doesn’t know it yet, because you don’t see 5G phones on the street yet. But look at all the quiet progress that’s been made in the last few months…
All of the big four wireless carriers in the US—Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint—have launched 5G in certain parts of the country. Verizon has rolled out 5G to parts of 11 US cities. T-Mobile’s in six cities, Sprint’s in nine, and AT&T is in parts of 21 cities.
Many more rollouts are planned for next year. Meanwhile, the first 5G phones have hit the US market. There’s the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, and the Motorola Moto Z4 and Z3 5G.
Plus, Apple recently paid $1 billion to acquire “the majority” of Intel’s smartphone modem business.
The acquisition means Apple is well on its way to producing its own 5G smartphone modems. Industry insiders expect the company to launch its first 5G iPhone next year.
5G is coming online outside the US, too. Deutsche Telecom and Vodafone are deploying 5G in parts of Europe. And China’s state-owned carriers expect to have 5G up and running in 50 cities by the end of this year.
What Does All This Mean for You?
Well, it means faster phone speeds and a lot of exciting new technologies that will make your life easier. But it also means this is an incredible time to invest.
To make money in 5G, look into:
- Wireless service providers like Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T)
- Smartphone and tablet makers like Apple (AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF)
- Network gear makers like Ericsson (ERIC) and Nokia (NOK)
- Chipmakers like Qualcomm (QCOM) and Skyworks Solutions (SWKS)
Or, if you’re comfortable taking a bit more risk for potentially massive profits, look at smaller disruptive companies that are making 5G possible.
My favorite “subsector” is companies that manufacture tiny components needed for all 5G phones called “RF filters.”
We’re going to need hundreds of billions more RF filters as 5G rolls out. And the small companies that have the best technology on the market stand to make a killing.
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