An invisible, imperceptible wave of change is thundering across the globe, and by the time it completes its journey, 5G technology will have transformed the world. The next phase in the evolution of mobile communications, 5G networks will render internet speeds up to 20 times faster, potentially, than today’s quickest connections can muster. Experts predict that 5G will impact every industry under the sun, but few industries have awaited the dawn of these new networks as eagerly as marketers.
To understand the enthusiasm surrounding 5G, it’s helpful to understand the basics of this new technology. 5G—or “fifth generation”—is the next iteration of mobile networks, which will replace the current “fourth generation,” or 4G, networks. Customers can already find 5G devices on the market, but since carriers need to upgrade their networks to offer the service, experts anticipate 2020 is the earliest that this technology will be widely available and accessible.
5G’s major allure is its unprecedented speed. It increases download speeds so that users can access content faster while simultaneously reducing latency, or the lag time between issuing a command on your device and the execution of that command. Our devices are about to put on their racing shoes thanks to 5G.
These faster speeds mean that marketers will be able to reach more customers. According to a 2017 report, as many as 33% of adblock users indicated they blocked ads to improve load times on their devices. If speed is the problem, then 5G may be the answer, so the rollout of advanced digital cellular networks could decrease adblock use—and therefore an increase in the reach of ads—since users will already be able to load web content in the blink of an eye without the need to turn to ad-blockers.
The incredible speed of 5G means that data can travel much faster between devices, which is music to marketers’ ears. 5G will allow real-time analytics to become remarkably sophisticated as customers’ devices send more and more live data to marketers; in fact, 5G will power a new wave of smart devices that communicate and share data with each other, and the avalanche of data this unleashes will unlock unbelievable customer insights.
Marketers will be able to send hyper-personalized content that draws on all of those signals, opening the door for infinitely more complex methods of advertising targeted at individuals like never before.
There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding 5G since this technology hasn’t fully landed in our phones and other gadgets. But marketers should take note of the implications that 5G has and start taking steps now to prepare for the next chapter in the digital revolution—it’ll be here faster than we may realize.