Every year there seem to be one or two major events that are hot topics throughout the year and never seem to go away, no matter where you look. For example, 2016 was the U.S. Presidential Election, 2017 was Bitcoin and the rise of cryptocurrency and 2018 was all about Brexit. This year, one of the biggest discussions will revolve around the launch of 5G, which is expected to be the biggest technological advance to ever be launched. Whilst 5G is several months away from launching, it is important to understand how it may impact the daily activities of both businesses and consumers. Let’s look at 5G in more detail:
The evolution of mobile networks has advanced at a colossal rate since the first text message was sent out in 1992. The mobile network that we use started with 2G in 1991, evolved into 3G in 1998 and at present, we use 4G, launched in 2008. The next mobile network that will be introduced is 5G, the fifth-generation mobile network. What 5G will bring us exactly is yet to be seen, but what it does guarantee is increased speed and coverage, which provides an abundance of possibilities to both businesses and consumers. If the network is implemented successfully, we can expect many more choices and it is likely that the companies that adapt best could end up becoming the biggest in the world.
The first and most obvious benefit of 5G is the download speeds that it will bring us. Currently, when we use 4G or Wi-Fi it can often become frustrating if you are trying to download a movie or game. However, when 5G rolls out we will be able to download a 50GB game in under two minutes, or a 100GB 4K movie in under 4 minutes (Villas-Boas, 2018). This increase in speed will save a significant amount of time for both consumers and businesses, with industry experts subsequently predicting that consumers will download more content than ever as a result.
The benefit of a 5G network does not stop with faster download speeds, in fact, it will open many new markets that will benefit consumers and reduce costs. It is reported that the network will be the breakthrough that allows autonomous vehicles to finally hit the street. Furthermore, virtual and augmented reality will become more common.
According to mobile network 02, the value and cost savings that 5G will create are unparallel to anything previously, with the findings presented in their 2018 report titled "The value of 5G for cities and communities". Here are some of the key benefits that 02 believe can be gained once the new network is active:
Another feature of the 5G network is that it will allow the internet of things (IoT) to make rapid advances. In simple terms, the internet of things allows everyday devices to connect to each other and ourselves through the web. This is all part of an overall plan to improve efficiency and reduce costs for consumers, whilst also allowing our devices to promote products which they believe will be of interest. Shields (2017) reports that the IoT "will disrupt businesses, governments and consumers by transforming how they interact", whilst also stating that almost $5 trillion will be spent on the IoT in the next five years.
5G is expected to launch in the UK towards the latter part of 2019, with some services potentially set for early 2020. The network will be launched by some of the UK’s biggest mobile operators after almost £1.4bn was spenton securing bandwidth (Sweeney, 2018). The operators are EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three. 02 has already made a breakthrough and trials have started at The 02 Arena, allowing people to experience 5G through virtual reality, live streaming apps and demos. Whilst there is no given date, expect to see rollouts in major cities towards the end of the year.
The exact impact that the 5G network will have on SMS marketing is difficult to assess as we are still in the implementation stages. However, what we do know is that SMS as a form of digital communication is arguably the most popular in the world and this is not expected to change when 5G comes. In fact, 5G will increase mobile usage, with the next 2 billion web users expected to access the internet using mobile (Lewis, 2019). Therefore, providing businesses with an even larger audience to reach when using SMS marketing. Furthermore, with the rise of IoT and device interaction, we may be moving into a new era where SMS marketing doesn’t necessarily have to go to a mobile phone, it could be possible to send an SMS or likewise message to consumers using smart devices like their fridge or coffee maker. Exciting times ahead for SMS marketing!
Hi, I'm Connor, Operations Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in IT and business management and love learning about how companies can utilise new technologies to streamline their business processes.
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