How 5G Will Impact Content Delivery Networks (CDN)


Consumers are already spoiled with an abundance of tools, devices, technology, and applications that help them consume content almost immediately. Of course, that is what the consumers want and expect. Behind the quick response is a combination of technologies to ensure fast service and heightened consumer experience. Included in the mix of technologies is fast internet connections, this time, the growing availability of 5G, and the content delivery network (CDN). 

As a business owner maintaining a website, you need to understand CDN. To give you an idea, a CDN’s primary purpose is to deliver content from various applications and websites people interact with each day at the fastest speed possible. 

How CDN works

A content delivery network helps provide your customers with an enhanced customer experience. As you know, today’s web users and customers demand fast service. If a website does not load within a few seconds, they will abandon it. 

Lag times frustrate users, especially those who are using mobile devices. A study by Google found that 53% of website visitors will leave the site if not loaded within three seconds. Factors such as poorly designed websites and slow internet speed are some reasons for this. While internet speeds have improved through the years, lag time is still an issue, and the longer it takes for a site to load, the more people are leaving the sites, with some people avoiding the websites that function poorly. Imagine how this issue affects e-commerce sites. 

A content delivery network can help fix the issue. A CDN’s main objective is to deliver content quickly to users in various geographic locations through replication. The service duplicates the content from other servers and sends it to users from the closest data center. The farther the users are from a company’s server, the slower the application or website loads. 

Demand for content

The demand for web content is already high. But the pandemic and the regulation to stay at home reduced most people’s access to various forms of information and entertainment they can get when outside their homes. Thus, the demand for content significantly increased, and with this an increased need for enhanced CDN security

A recent survey of the CDN market shows it had a value of $11.76 billion in 2020, which is expected to increase to $49.62 by 2026. In addition, gaming companies are heavy investors in a content delivery network as the demand for high-quality video games continues to grow. 

5G networks will increase CDN demand

While websites contain text, images, audio files, and videos, most people today access and demand high-quality video and audio files, thus, you will notice that there is an increase in the use of video content platforms such as YouTube, Brightcove, Panopto, Vimeo, JW Player, etc., as well as SoundCloud, Audiomack, iTunes, Spotify, and others for digital music platforms, not to mention sharing sites for user-created content. 

The increased accessibility of the internet worldwide opens the door for the technology to carry more services. In the past, video content was stored in a central data center. Thus, when global users simultaneously send video service requests, the system suffers from massive data loads and increased latency because of the distance between the primary data center and the users. The situation improved with the introduction of 3G and, later, 4G.

And now, the rollout of 5G is set to transform the CDN industry. The shift to this technology will exponentially increase the fast rate of digital disruption. 5G has superior internet speed and low latency that will transform various activities—from self-driving vehicles, healthcare, augmented reality to content streaming solutions.

5G promises excellent upload and download speeds, increased stability, and improved coverage. In addition, the transmission speed can reach up to 16Gbps and latency of 1ms, which is a game-changer, as users can easily access richer content. 

This means that the video content uploads and downloads will not lag, and streaming will be seamless. In addition, content delivery networks cache content on various nodes worldwide, and the system shortens the distance between the servers and the users, enhancing the performance of websites and applications. These benefits increase traffic to most websites. 

Ultimately, while 5G promises to make internet connection faster than ever, the content providers will still need to store their content on a platform. Therefore, as CDN has the appropriate mechanism, its role in the 5G environment will become more significant, whether used for API hosting, edge computing, or mobile video delivery. 

Increasing need for CDN security

Internet users welcome the arrival of 5G, as it promises to be 100 times faster than 4G, which will help many personal, commercial, and industrial users. One of the advantages of 5G is that it gives experts ample time to find solutions to security concerns. Despite the superior features of 5G, these features and the newness of the technology are also the reasons to increase CDN security, specifically the increased bandwidth and decreased latency.  

There are already several major salient security threats, such as:

  • New technology. As with other technological advancements, 5G presents unique problems. Experts can predict a few security weaknesses, typically the common ones, but they also say that some security issues will not be apparent until a breach occurs. 
  • More points of access. 5G provides more access points, which become potential openings for cybercriminals to access the network. This translates to an increase in monitoring of all access points on a digital and physical level.
  • Security risks for the Internet of Things. 5g’s speed is perfect for using several IoT devices. But the increased number of connected devices means that the security risks increase. IoT devices have weaker security features, which means they are vulnerable. Once one device is breached, it can compromise the entire system. 
  • Speed. Numerous fields, such as self-driving cars and remote surgery, consider using 5G technology. However, this can pose higher security risks because it could make tracking and preventing attacks harder. In addition, faster data transmission also needs higher levels of security to avoid the stealing of information, malicious behavior, and breaks in communication. 


More individuals and businesses are using CDNs to deliver and receive various content. With the help of 5G, internet traffic would increase, and higher traffic makes CDNs a prime target for cybercriminals. Cyber attackers would try to intercept, steal or alter vital information. Protecting your CDN with robust and up-to-date cybersecurity best practices will help prevent potential breaches.

Hazel Raoult

Hazel Raoult

Hazel Raoult is a creative content writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.