02:56 UTC, 20 July 1969.
“It’s one small step for man… one giant leap for mankind.”
Those were, of course, the words Neil Armstrong uttered as he became the first man to walk on the moon. An action that cemented his place in modern history.
If you were alive at the time, you knew exactly where you were and what you were doing… at that precise moment.
I turn 43 this year. The last moon landings happened three years before I was born. And no one has stepped on the moon since. So I am unable to say that I witnessed this seminal moment for mankind.
But if someone gave me the opportunity to travel back in time to witness it, I’d snap their hand off.
I am pleased to report that this technology now exists.
In fact, not only does this technology now exist, it will allow me to go one “giant leap” further.
It will allow me to walk side by side with Armstrong as he takes his first steps on the moon. To see him place the flag. And to feel the thrusters rumble beneath me as Eagle lifts off from the moon, makes contact with Columbia… and returns to planet Earth.
Moon landings don’t tickle your fancy?
How about running on to the pitch as Geoff Hurst scores seals his hat-trick at the 1966 World Cup?
Or dining with Winston Churchill before he addresses crowds at Whitehall on VE day?
This is all possible now that virtual reality – or VR – is reaching its potential.
Primitive forms of VR headsets have been around since the 1970s.
But VR, up until now, has been just that. Primitive.
Early forms of VR didn’t have the computing power to produce a realistic experience. It was too expensive. And caused motion sickness.
Fifth generation internet – or 5G as it’s now known – changes that.
The Telegraph calls 5G: “One of the most important developments in human history”
5G has two major advantages. Both of which are game-changing for VR.
The first is an instant upgrade to how fast the internet is.
At the moment, VR applications are susceptible to interruptions by network performance, which ruins the user’s experience. But 5G will allow for a rock solid, seamless connection.
5G’s second major advantage is that it achieves levels of latency never before possible.
Latency is often overlooked. But understanding it allows you to see the real potential for 5G.
Latency is essentially lag time. As things stand, 4G broadband internet has a lag time of about 60 milliseconds. Now, that sounds fast. But it is not fast enough to produce a virtual world that actually feels real.
The human brain takes approximately 10 milliseconds to process an image captured by the eye. So for a truly immersive experience, VR needs latencies below that.
Which is exactly what 5G is capable of.
5G brings latencies down to just 1 millisecond. Well below the “processing speeds” of the human brain.
Given this, it’s easy to see why the senior VP of virtual reality at Sony says “5G is a game changer”.
Forbes is of the same opinion. It says “The Arrival Of 5G Will Unlock The Full Potential Of VR”.
And Venture Beat says “5G will bring AR and VR to the masses”.
5G’s ultra-low latencies will have implications for a plethora of other industries too.
It has already made “remote surgery” possible. That’s where a doctor performs surgery on a patient – with the help of a robot – without being physically in the same location as the patient.
Earlier this year Dr. Ling Zhipei operated from his office on the Chinese island of Hainan, off the south coast, on a patient in Beijing in the north. The distance between them was 1,057 miles. And it was the 5G connection between Hainan and Beijing that allowed them to do that.
5G is the missing piece of the driverless car puzzle, too. Allowing cars to “talk” to each other and respond to each other instantly. A recent piece by Forbes said, “Autonomous Cars Won’t Work – Until We Have 5G”.
Automation, smart homes, smart cities, farming. These are all industries that will be turned upside down by advent of 5G.
All in all, according to a recent study by Gartner, 5G is forecast to create $12.3 trillion worth of wealth.
Wealth that will be created at breakneck speed because 5G is rolling out as we speak.
China switched on its 5G network at the start of the month.
South Korea’s 5G launch hit 1 million users within 59 days (smashing the previous record set by 4G).
And the US, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico are all rolling out next year.
According to research firm CCS Insight, the number of 5G subscriptions is expected to jump from 4 million to 2.61 billion in the next five years.
That’s 60,492% growth.
Now, if you’re thinking all of this creates a huge financial opportunity for investors, you’re right.
And here’s how I plan to play it.
The power of prior knowledge
From an investor’s perspective, rollouts like these really are money for old rope.
The investment thesis is simple.
- New technology causes old technology to become obsolete.
- Consumer electronics manufacturers race to integrate new key technology suppliers into their supply chain (whilst jettisoning the old).
- If you can find out who those suppliers are before everyone else, you’re on to a winner.
Take Infineon for example.
Back in the early 2000s, Infineon was just a few guys soldering together motherboards in the small south-German town Neubiberg…
But then Infineon became Apple’s “silent supplier”.
Apple installed its processors in its iPhones.
It drove Infineon’s stock price through the roof! And Infineon made a 3,900% gain.
Mark my words. This exact same situation is about to repeat itself. And I think I’ve found the perfect candidate.
This firm I’m targeting is responsible for a key component in the 5G boom.
This component is a microchip that will allow every 5G device on the planet to “talk” to each other.
And as we speak, some of the biggest tech manufacturers are integrating the “silent supplier” behind this microchip into its supply chain.
Apple will install this microchip inside its iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, Apple Watches and even its Airpods.
Google, Samsung, Sony, Nintendo and Fitbit are all in too.
For my money, this is just like getting in on Infineon before the smartphone boom. (But for reasons explained here, even better.)
On that note, I’ve gone to the trouble of producing a special briefing about this firm that I’d like you to have for free.
You’ll soon see in my new briefing that 5G is happening with or without you. You can either stay on the side-lines and watch as other investors get rich. Or get in the game, for the chance to make a potential fortune.
Investment Director, Southbank Investment Research