Will 5G transform the digital marketing landscape?
30 August, 2018
5G is edging ever closer to a reality, but what will the fifth-generation of data connectivity mean for digital marketing? Right now, the changes that 5G could bring to consumers goes far beyond what can currently be imagined. However, one thing that is guaranteed is that it will radically transform the user experience and how we experience digital advertising.
The FCC has predicted 5G to be almost 1000 times faster than 4G with 100 times less latency. The capabilities of such fast download times create expansive possibilities, from driverless cars to smart street lights to enhanced artificial intelligence. For digital advertising, this will mean quicker loading times on both desktop and mobile, with more stable connections than ever before. Bounces, caused by download delays, will decrease substantially meaning more users will be captured. As ads become less of an obstacle to loading times and more flawlessly woven into the pages/apps, users will be less inclined to install ad blockers. This, along with the wider geographical coverage provided by 5G, will mean more consumers can be reached than with 4G, vastly expanding the advertising targeting pool.
As well as improved download speeds, ads will be better optimised thanks to the content opportunity facilitated by 5G. Visually, display ads can be far more innovative and immersive with higher resolution and 4K video becoming commonplace. Improved user experience could combat banner blindness, appealing to users with better quality ads. Wider coverage would enable personalisation of ads in real-time, across multiple touchpoints, improving cross-channel display. The lines between OOH and digital will blur more than ever and from that, we will see an increasing amount of experiential and innovative DOOH campaigns. With anticipation building, the pressure for 5G to launch is ramping up.
The race to produce the first 5G compatible hardware is well and truly on. The Chinese smartphone market is currently in the lead, promising consumers that the OnePlus 7, equipped with 5G, is set to launch as early as mid-2019. The OnePlus has a close relationship with Qualcomm, who recently revealed new antenna modules which can be integrated into smartphones avoiding many of the obstacles associated with 5G compatibility.
Across the globe, telecommunication companies are gearing up for the transition, all hoping to be ready in time. Most are unlikely to launch before 2020, however, South Korea is determined to be the first with their three largest network providers uniting to start at the same time in 2019. From T-Mobile to Verizon, mass investment is currently being made to provide the best service to users once 5G comes into consumers lives.
Despite all this excitement and expectation, the reality of 5G is not here quite yet. Huawei’s recent attempt at a 5G phone has been rumoured to draw much more power than 4G and burns so hot it requires a specialist cooling module to dissipate the heat. Their CEO, Eric Xu, confirmed the company’s 5G chips will consume 2.5 times the power of current 4G chips. With battery life already a major pain point with smartphones, it is unlikely this power drain will fill consumers with confidence. The hardware which is ready will still be reliant on services provided by telecommunication networks. The speed will depend on which spectrum band operators run the 5G technology on and how much investment has been made on transmitters.
These are all problems which will likely be smoothed out over time, we predict that for the time being 5G will not be the flawless experience it has the potential to be. However, beyond the technological intricacies, 5G is undoubtedly going to be the next major milestone for innovation, user experience and services – presenting a huge opportunity for both brands and marketers to engage with modern consumers.