Now that nearly all cellular carriers have announced launches of 5G networks, what can marketers expect and plan for the future?
Let’s start with the given. Each generation is faster. Some networks are a hundred times faster than the 4Gs they replaced and means that more people will have online access from more places. More people + more places = more online searches. And more searches = more sales opportunities. To avid movie watchers, the faster speed also means quicker load up times. Imagine being able to find, load and watch Lion King or The Avengers or anything else you wish within seconds!
And for folks who want just about everything in the palms of their hands, 5Gs will allow you to connect nearly everything and everyone with your cell phone. Imagine warming up the house before you arrive home, preheating the oven for supper, checking your security camera recordings, and returning your phone messages as you do your daily commute home.
Yes and no. It is good news because of the anticipated increase in online searches and business. However, some observers predict that the faster speeds and accessibility will also draw and motivate more sellers to enter the marketplace and heighten competition. The European Patent Office indicates that applications for smart-connected devices jumped more than 50% in the past three years.
What Does This Mean?
The good news is that cell phone manufacturers anticipate it will take major apps for 5G cell phones some time to catch up. Most reports anticipate that this will occur in 2021 and 2022. For marketers, 5Gs will enable you to capture more data, including customer location, so that you might better tailor your ads and messaging. Most experts feel that the impact of 5Gs will be different across industries but that big business, especially the auto industry, will be one of the biggest benefactors. Self-driving cars will get a huge shot in the arm with experts predicting that cars will soon be able to detect each other and avoid crashes.
Be aware that 5G signals are more adversely affected by certain physical conditions. Work with your IT team and possibly pre-test your location to avoid possible break-ups in 5G connectivity. Your company may have to invest in indoor 5G hotspots.
Be aware that 4G will still be around for years even after the introduction of 5G. It will also serve as a back-up system for the 5Gs.
There are about as many questions about 5Gs today as there are answers and a lot won’t be known or discovered until the systems and phones are in operation. Let your IT team know how important they are in this transition in serving as the eyes and ears of this transition and communicate with them frequently.