Every generation of mobile technology brought great advances that 20 years ago were only a subject of imagination. Many of us at a certain age remember the first generation of mobile phones. They were massive and pretty expensive, but they afforded the level of connectivity we never had before.
As mobile technology has progressed through the rise of the 3G and 4G network (also known as LTE), we have witnessed the rise of mobile applications, social media platforms and streaming audio and video services. Each generation of wireless technology is characterised with increased speed limits. Most changes and updates were incompatible with the previous generation, Precisely, 1G was analogue cellular and 2G was the first generation of digital cellular technologies. 3G increased speed between 200 KB to few megabits per second, and 4G has brought the speed up to hundreds of megabits per second, even at gigabit speed levels. Today, 5G promises to be an even bigger game-changer, and the changes that it will make will require marketers to be ready to take the advantages.
By early next decade, marketers hope that 5G speeds will fully realise big ideas like autonomous cars, smart homes and cities and not to mention powerful and potent tactics like letting consumers virtually try clothes and test supplies. The 5G coverage may also finally bring millions of rural consumers into the high-speed data lances where marketers will offer and sell their products. It might even disrupt the power of Google and Facebook by arming telecom companies with unique data for ad services.
Speed beyond limits
With increased speed comes the ability to move and process data faster. Just how much faster? Well, predictions are that it will be up to 10 gigabytes per second or 100 times faster than the 4G network. Faster and unlimited connection and coverage will allow more people to go online from anywhere. That means that markets will grow even more, opening possibilities and great opportunities in the field of gaming travel, tourism and retail. As speed and accessibility increase the audience rate, it will be important for marketers to segment their customer data and create a more personalised experience. Customers today already expect a certain level of personalisation. For example, if you are a fan of Egyptian or mystery-themed games and you’ve played online games that are similarly themed, game recommendation such as Eye of Horus by Reel Time Gaming will surely be placed for you to try it out.
Although the video is already a fast-growing segment of digital marketing, the speed of 5G will take video marketing to the next level. In theory, with the help of 5G, it will take only seconds to download a full-length HD movie or game segments. Currently, over 60% of mobile or tablet devices are still connected in our home over a broadband network. With 5G stepping up, it will allow us to access large video files or demanding platforms anywhere on any device.
5G is expected to advance wireless networking by bringing fibre-like speeds and low latency capabilities to almost any location. Imagine being able to have a live chat with your customer with no lag time. Another change that the lower latency of 5G may bring is the decreased use of ad blockers. Over 40 per cent of users say they use ad-block extensions because their experience is too slow, ads take too long to load and, on many occasions, they deform the landing page. With 5G, marketers will be able to customize their ads according to the network speed and think about different formats and alternatives of advertising that will improve the effect and customer satisfaction. Other possibilities that the lower latency rates 5G offers include factory robots, multiplayer mobile gaming and self-driving vehicles. These are tasks that demand a quick response that today’s 4G networks struggle with or can’t manage at all.
While 5G is nearly mainstream, its implementation imposed few challenges. The rollout across network carriers and the adoption of formal specifications are a couple of potential barriers. Loss of privacy is another concern that has been raised as location tracking and data sharing become more accurate and precise. In theory, if your mobile network sells your location data, advertisers will be able to see your current location and serve relevant ads.
It will be pretty exciting to see the inventions that will be created out of 5G. It will also be a time when marketers will need to be alert and open to all new possibilities for them and their audience.