Mobile marketing technology is constantly evolving. The same goes for mobile data connections and the network technologies that impact mobile connectivity and download speeds. Ever heard of 2G, 3G, 4G or 4G LTE? That’s what we’re talking about. Except now, we’re talking about the latest and greatest in mobile network tech — 5G.

Here’s everything you need to know about 5G network technology and how it may impact 5G mobile marketing as a consumer and business owner.

5G, Coming to a Device Near You

Just like other mobile networks, 5G will take some time to roll out to the masses. It’s already 10 years in the making, and the first launch only included the densest parts of 12 cities in late 2018.

While rural areas are typically slow to receive the latest network technologies anyway, 5G will reach them eventually…though probably not until late 2019, early 2020. Around that time frame, rural areas can expect a low-band form of 5G connectivity, with about 35% faster speeds than they experienced with 4G LTE.

Determining Your 5G Speed

The average speed of 4G LTE in the U.S. is about 16.31 Mbps. Those experiencing peak speeds enjoy around 45 Mbps.

But with 5G, mobile users can expect much faster connections wherever there is 5G availability. These speeds should fall between 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps.

However, mobile speeds can vary quite a bit from user to user and from day to day (even minute to minute).

The factors that influence 5G mobile speed include:
  • Geographic location
  • Mobile network (like AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and others)
  • Volume (traffic) of same-time mobile data users
  • Mobile device

So even if a consumer has access to 5G, the speeds may not be noticeably better. Crazy, huh? Don’t get discouraged just yet.

The 5G Difference

Unlike LTE technology, 5G offers different spectrum bands and more advanced radio technology. This means larger bandwidths, which will help multiple users connect at once. (Ever been in a large stadium and experience really bad service? 5G, in theory, can fix that.)

Another big benefit of 5G is the expectation that it will deliver lower latency (as low as 1 ms) than 4G. In layman’s terms? When 5G gets to you, browsing the web and consuming content will feel like it happens a little faster. But it won’t just help users stream or download content faster. It’ll also help mobile users upload information faster. So in the long run, businesses big and small are poised to benefit from 5G. More on this in a sec.

The Impacts of 5G

With 5G, connected devices will be able to transfer data back and forth much more quickly than they ever could before. When that’s possible, the newest technologies that require user feedback and input (like virtual reality gaming, self-driving cars, delivery robots and drones) can thrive.

Not sure self-driving cars and robots are relevant to your life just yet?

Everyday users and businesses will also see some benefits from the spread of 5G availability over time.

For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) will benefit vastly. Regular, everyday items consumers use that are connected to the internet, will experience more efficient signaling, i.e. faster connections. Think voice search apps like Amazon’s Alexa, even smart refrigerators that let consumers double-check their grocery lists away from home.

Since most of these devices share data so they can improve overall user experience, that’ll happen more quickly too. Basically, any IoT device will just…work better than it did before.

5G Mobile Marketing Implications

Realistically, 5G won’t make a substantial impact for most mobile users this year (especially if you don’t live in a big city or use a smart refrigerator).

Technically, it won’t replace 4G or WiFi either. It’s meant to supplement the networks already in place. And, it’ll only help those with 5G-enabled mobile devices anyway.

But, once 5G becomes more mainstream, it has some pretty cool implications for businesses wishing to leverage the latest mobile network technology to reach consumers.

The more consumers use mobile technology and the IoT to connect to the web, the more marketers can connect with these consumers using 5G mobile marketing tactics.

To reach consumers who rely on voice search apps and hands-free mobile search, search engine marketing and optimization will become more important than ever before. It’ll become faster, and likely cheaper (due to the increased number of mobile marketing channels) to buy mobile-optimized ads. You’ll want to cater your 5G mobile marketing messages to these voice and hands-free mobile mediums by using more locally focused and conversational language.

With the faster speeds that come with 5G, video and gaming will also spike as 5G becomes more widely available. This opens the door for small business advertisers who are willing to pay to play in these channels to reach tech-loving consumers.

Mobile marketers will also benefit from more real-time insights and data on consumer behavior. As data upload speeds increase for mobile and IoT devices, apps that share this data will help marketers know more and more about what users are searching, clicking and consuming.

One day in the not too distant future, small business marketers will be able to use 5G mobile marketing techniques to better craft and target your marketing messages. And 5G technology will help you do it faster and easier than ever before.