5G, the fifth-generation mobile network, is coming soon. There is a lot of hype about it but what will it mean for consumers and marketeers?
First-generation networks arrived in the 1980s when even I was young. They served their purpose of enabling people to talk whilst on the move – no mean feat – but nothing more. 2G, or second generation, came along in the 1990s and brought text and picture messaging – a function that still underlines much of our mobile communication styles today.
3G arrived in the early twenty-first century and this is when video calling and mobile data arrived and I remember working on some of the earliest 3G marketing campaigns at the time. 4G was inevitably next and this vastly improved the download speeds to enable good experiences for gaming and video.
So what will 5G bring? Well it’s difficult to answer that with a feature list. Ultimately what 5G will do is radically improve speed and reliability. The ability to download full length movies in just a few seconds for example. This has the opportunity to completely change consumer behaviour. How?
Well at the moment it is very common to wait until you’re on WiFi to download anything significant, to have your viewing or gaming interrupted by poor speeds or coverage or to even have your shopping experience frustrated by slow speeds on a rich website.
Faster and more reliable speeds mean that video content, rich website experiences, large apps and interactive ads all have more possibilities. The experience for the user can be interactive, rich, detailed and still fast.
This technology has already started to roll out in some countries and this will continue but we shouldn’t expect wide ranging coverage until around 2022.
As you build your digital strategy you should be considering how this will play a part in changing your consumers world over the next few years.
For more on technology and how it impacts your strategy (and how to take advantage of that) you can get my international best-seller, Digital Marketing Strategy, below.