Blog Post

5G Is Coming: Here’s How You Can Prepare

03/20/2019 - Sierra Ducey

1.5 billion people, globally, are expected to have a 5G subscription by 2024. The capabilities of fifth generation cellular wireless are immaculate, so it comes as no surprise that ‘5G’ has already become a leading 2019 keyword across industries. The future of mobile tech has created widespread excitement – many associate 5G with flying cars, smart cities, and robotic refrigerators – but progress still needs to be made before our world transforms into a revamped, digitized utopia. Unlike 4G, however, 5G will launch quickly and in a shorter amount of time due to increased preparation, flexibility, and pressure. Brands want to master the space, governments want to be the first to adopt it – the pressure is on and the competition is overwhelming.

What is 5G and What are the Benefits?

5G is a new generation of cellular performance that will alter how consumers interact with mobile devices. It can support 1,000 more devices per meter than its 4G predecessor and its abilities will make the world a more connected, digital space. The advancements of 5G are still being explored and predicted, but its benefits, highlighted below, will begin to kick into gear by the close of 2019:

  • Higher Speeds: Once 5G overtakes 4G, transactions are expected to occur within a few milliseconds rather than a few hundred. This speed will not only enhance simplicity, but also increase traction across various platforms. For consumers, web pages will load quickly and downloads will take seconds. For media planners and marketers, data can be obtained and analyzed in the moment campaigns are launched, with ease.
  • Stronger Content: The door to updated creative outlets is opened as faster download speeds replace the norm. Higher resolution ads, (such as 4K video) are unlocked with the adoption of 5G and will therefore be used more by advertisers and media planners. Because of this upcoming speed and quality, US brand investment in mobile video is expected to reach $12.6 billion by the end of this year.
  • Increased Personalization: 5G’s speed will enable marketers to personalize content in real time. Names and identities of consumers can become known in milliseconds, making it possible to target users in uniquely relatable ways. New tech abilities means reaching users where they are, the second they get there. With 5G, segmentation will become singular and targeting will become individualistic.
  • Limitless Possibilities: Highly sophisticated advertising is on its way as 4G becomes the tech of yesterday. Benefits include faster load times, higher webpage resolutions, an increase in immersive experiences, and more. These opportunities will create new ad formats and new price points that will alter media planning for good. According to a recent Verizon Media poll, 47% of advertisers see the ability to use new creative formats as a top benefit of 5G’s usage. This creativity, partnered with increased speed, will place newfound pressures and expectations upon agencies and advertisers in a matter of months.

How Will 5G Impact Programmatic?

The intensity of 5G will encourage a new level of efficiency in the programmatic space. Exchanges will need to improve in terms of timeliness and measurement to keep up with new and upcoming technologies. Data will be processed in milliseconds, meaning ad biddings will need to be processed in milliseconds. Currently, programmatic exchanges take 100s of milliseconds. As 5G begins to be installed, this exchange will take 10s of milliseconds or less. More programmatic transactions will be taking place – especially as personalization begins to become a priority for competitors – and new targeting capabilities will bring in ample business opportunities. But in order for ad tech partners to reap valuable rewards, they will need to enter the space prepared and confident. Brands will want to work with partners with strong experience in the 5G realm.

What’s reassuring is that there is still time to test and prepare. 5G is being held back due to high pricing and undeveloped hardware, but updates are occurring and planning is happening. Faster servers are being built, more data centers are popping up, and mobile carriers are beginning to test new products. This enhanced tech, which can assist in jumpstarting the building of aforementioned robots and smart cities, is unlike anything in the past. So, prepping now is key to 5G success.

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