Fifth generation wireless is a game changer. It means the end of network latency. And it is here today, three years ahead of schedule.
Verizon (VZ) - Get Report , AT&T Corp. (T) - Get Report and T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get Report are now rolling out 5G. These ultrafast networks will expedite the technologies of tomorrow, bringing new business models.
Among other products, it makes the 5G routers Verizon and others will use to bring broadband video on demand to U.S. households. The stars have aligned. After years of failed promise, the San Diego company is finally in the right place, at the right time.
Consumers have been waiting for 5G for years. Many assumed they would see the benefits of fast wireless first on their new iPhones. That is not in the cards. Apple signaled last week 5G will not hit its gear until 2021.
In the interim, wireless providers see another prize. With 5G, they will be able to bring multi-gigabit speed internet to homes and businesses, without the cost of laying expensive fiber. Customers will simply spark up their new 5G routers, and presto, they'll have connections fast enough to stream 8K video, or seamlessly run automation software.
5G is not merely an upgrade from 4G/LTE technology. It is orders of magnitude better.
Infrastructure companies have demonstrated download speeds of 10Gbps, a 1000X improvement over 4G. A bump of this magnitude will shrink latency to 1 millisecond, from the current LTE standard of 50. Network capacity will improve, too.
Wireless providers will finally have the bandwidth to compete head to head with wireline telephone and cable TV providers. Decreased latency means self-driving cars, smart city infrastructure, remote robotic surgery and a host of internet of things strategies that will make everything from factories to oil rigs more efficient.
Orbis Research, an independent IT research firm, predicts IoT infrastructure will rise from $19.65 billion in 2017, to $223.05 billion by 2026, a compound rate of growth of 30.9%.
Beyond routers, Inseego also makes the gateways and modems necessary for next generation wireless networks. And its Ctrack subsidiary operates one of the leading fleet management and telematics businesses. For 30 years, it has been helping fleets reduce fuel use and optimize routes.
Inseego also boasts partnerships with technology leaders, like Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report , and 50 of largest telecommunication service providers. As Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Bell Canada (BCE) - Get Report and build out 5G deployments at scale, it's a safe bet they will turn to their longtime trusted partner.
Inseego shares are up 133% in 2018, largely on the basis of the 5G momentum. However, the market capitalization is still only $314 million, and the addressable market for 5G infrastructure is enormous, and growing quickly.
While the company is small, and therefore can face resource shortfalls, I suspect it has a good shot at being seen as a critical part of portfolios focused on 5G development in months and years to come.
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The author does not hold any positions in the stocks mentioned in this article.