4 mins

5G is the next evolution in mobile technology which will have a significant impact on every aspect of our lives. From faster up and download speeds to lower latency and greater capacity, it promises to revolutionise the way we engage with and consume content.

So, what is 5G?

5G is estimated to be 1,000 times faster than 4G (5G.co.uk), with latency that is 4.5 times faster than 4G (Data Makes Possible) – latency is the time it takes for a request to travel from the sender to the receiver, and for the receiver to process that request. In other words, “the round trip from the browser to the server.” (KeyCDN) Obviously, the desire is for this to be as close to 0 as possible. In short, 5G is fast.

5G is currently available in 98 major towns and cities across the UK (5G.co.uk), with EE first to the party in May 2019. Since then, Vodafone, O2, and Three have all launched their own 5G services. However, the rollout of 5G in the UK hit a stumbling block in July 2020 when the UK Government announced that Huawei was to be removed from UK 5G networks by 2027. This is expected to delay the UK’s 5G rollout by a year. (BBC)

At the end of February 2020, 5G had expanded to 378 cities across 34 countries (Tech Republic), with South Korea leading the way, followed by China, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom. In May 2020, 5G finally arrived on the African continent, with Vodacom launching its 5G network in 3 major cities in South Africa. (Total Telecom)

What effect will this have on marketing and advertising?

You may or may not be aware that website speed and load times have a huge effect on SEO, conversions and page views. Mobile sites traditionally have had limited functionality and content so that load times are faster, meaning that they don’t lose valuable traffic. However, these faster 5G data load times will allow for far richer digital content on mobile devices, without impacting load times.

Not only does speed affect SEO, but it has a huge impact on the delivery of ads. Advertising on mobile has traditionally suffered from those same issues with lag times and latency. Users scrolling a web page may skip past an ad before it’s loaded and before it can capture their attention. But, this is where 5G comes in! A faster rate of delivery and a network than can cope with larger file sizes will allow for better, more sophisticated ads to enhance the user experience and get more engagement…creativity is your oyster.

It also offers a massive opportunity for alternative reality experiences where data has to be rendered in real-time in order to be immersive, convincing and consumed by the audience.

Another huge opportunity comes in the form of events and event-based marketing, where traditionally 4G networks can’t handle the volume of traffic; 5G presents opportunities to deliver real time ads to users when they’re at their most interested. For example, at a football stadium, you could serve an ad for an offer in the club shop for a player who scored the winning goal, or food and drink vendors at festivals can serve ads for deals that they’re running at that moment in time, or education institutions can serve ads to students visiting their college or university for an Open Day. 5G presents a fantastic opportunity for innovative advertising that is video and instant experience first.

Other benefits to marketers include:

  • Enhanced location targeting – user location information will be even more precise and accurate.
  • Ability to utilise video more heavily in advertising without having to worry about load speeds.
  • Long-form video content strategies will come to the fore, as users will be more likely to consume longer videos on their phones as buffer times will be minimal.
  • Great opportunity to target different countries that you may not have been able to reach before, because of slow speeds.
  • Emphasises a mobile first website. In the past, it’s been considered a bit of an afterthought, although this has changed in recent years, the development of 5G will speed this shift up.

What is the impact to you?

5G will have profound effects on our everyday lives, as we become more connected than ever before. This presents huge opportunities for marketers to really develop the way they communicate with their customers…get personal, in real time, with amazing creativity, and watch the results roll in…

If you’re interested in learning more about the impact of 5G on the future of
advertising & content marketing will be, and how you can take advantage, get in touch with one of our experts today.


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