As the rollout of 5G communications networks gathers speed across the country, one of the first places to receive comprehensive coverage in California will be our very own Santa Clarita. After the City Council approved the rollout back in November, it is now expected that Santa Clarita will have a fully operational 5G network later on in the year.
Such a significant infrastructure boost may give Santa Clarita a significant competitive advantage over neighboring towns and cities when it comes to attracting tech jobs, largely because of the significant capacity and speed upgrades that 5G offers.
With fifth-generation capabilities now being described as essential for the future development of technologies such as IoT devices, self-driving cars, and cutting-edge gaming, it’s worth pondering whether Santa Clarita’s 5G rollout will bring tangible economic benefits anytime soon. Here’s why a post-5G Santa Clarita could become a major hub for tech and gaming companies.
What Advantages Can 5G Bring for Big Tech?
It’s first worth breaking down exactly how 5G infrastructure can benefit certain technology companies. Put simply, the data upload speeds and bandwidth capacity offered by 5G is several times higher than anything currently available on 3G and 4G networks.
While many users of, say, a 5G enabled smartphone might not immediately notice the difference, many different tech sectors are keenly aware of the potential improvements.
One of the most significant benefits of 5G is its potential to enhance the capabilities of Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies, thanks to speeds that allow hundreds of different sensors and small computers to interact with each other in real-time.
For technologies such as self-driving cars, which require constant data feedback from external and internal sensors, such capabilities are game-changing. For bandwidth-heavy technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and automated manufacturing, 5G can make the world of difference.
Advantages of 5G for Game Developers
The industrial applications of 5G are relatively well-known, but what about the gaming industry? Santa Clarita is already surrounded by some of the biggest video game industry hubs on the entire planet, with Los Angeles, Cupertino, and Santa Barbara hosting some of the largest and most high-profile developers in history.
What’s more, Santa Clarita is already home to a small but burgeoning video game industry, with developers such as Tatum Gaming and WayForward Technologies already employing dozens of people in the area. If Santa Clarita was able to obtain a competitive advantage over nearby gaming hubs, it could trigger an economic boom.
This is largely due to the fact that, as well as the obvious benefits for video streaming, 5G capabilities allow for emerging gaming technologies that struggle on existing networks to flourish. Take Augmented Reality gaming, which has already been identified as one of the fastest-growing sectors of the market, one that is reliant on 5G’s continued development. The ability to structure a real-world gaming environment with a headset requires massive and uninterrupted data flows that only 5G can realistically manage.
California-based AR giants such as Quytech and Cubix have already stressed the need for greater bandwidths, a need that is only likely to grow as the technology develops. Another gaming subsector that stands to benefit from a local 5G infrastructure is live-stream gaming, in which players play competitively with others via a live-stream, interactive video link.
Much of this sector is being driven by the online casino industry, where there are now dozens of global platforms where people can play blackjack, poker, and roulette with real-life dealers via a live-stream link. Since 5G will allow such technology to run smoothly, it is possible that such companies might consider a move to Santa Clarita in the future.
In addition, the rapidly-growing world of cloud-based gaming technology is one that relies heavily on the speeds that 5G can offer. Bestselling services such as Apple Arcade, as well as yet-to-be-released cloud gaming platforms like the Xbox Scarlett, require total connectively in order to be functional. Santa Clarita might be able to offer that in the coming months.
Advantages of Santa Clarita Over Nearby Hubs
Finally, it’s worth noting that Santa Clarita has other advantages beyond incoming 5G that could serve to attract tech and gaming companies from nearby hubs. For one, the cost of living in Santa Clarita is significantly lower than it is in major tech centers like Los Angeles, Cupertino, and the Bay Area, the latter of which now has average monthly rent prices of over $3600.
In addition, the fact that Santa Clarita is within easy reach of Downtown Los Angeles might be enough to persuade companies that want the benefits of a cheaper HQ without losing their connections to LA’s tech talent to up sticks and move. Finally, the unparalleled quality of life offered in Santa Clarita might just be enough to seal the deal.
It is far from certain what kind of economic benefits will materialize as a result of 5G. However, when you take these factors into account, the outlook is a positive one.