5G is fast approaching. In 2020, possibly even 2019, 5G will revolutionise the way in which we use our mobile devices. Said to be 100 times faster than our current cellular generation, 5G will set the foundation of a hyper-connected society. So, what are the likely impacts for our industry?

The most obvious change will be the dramatic reduction in load times. Delays between server responses currently cause millisecond to second delays, often causing customers to click off content. 5G will eliminate this delay. Additionally, devices will be able to download and render higher resolution ads in a much quicker time – ultimately we’ll come to expect advertisements that are far crisper, and an industry which is far less forgiving on lower resolution.

With the decrease in load times, increase in resolution, and the assumption that mobile providers will offer larger internet package deals, we’re likely to see an increase in the use of video and the rise of 4K on mobile devices. Currently, 60% of video viewing occurs at home. We’ll potentially see a huge shift to mobile devices – video and motion graphic advertisements are far more attentional grabbing and are a richer experience for viewers as opposed to image-based ads.

Virtual reality and augmented reality have yet to really ‘kick on’. AR/VR requires a consistent, unbroken connection with low latency. Without these factors, immersion is near impossible. We expect 5G to really push AR/VR. If brands can successfully use AR to create meaningful interactions and add real value to customers, rather than novelty, AR could be huge for the industry. An example being consumers testing and trying products in an AR space (think makeup, clothes, visualising furniture in the sitting room and so on). Brands may also choose to make brand interactions a more compelling experience through gamification on the go – all much more possible through utilising 5G.

By 2020, there’ll be an estimated 200 billion IoT devices. This ecosystem of interrelated appliances has the capability of communicating amongst each other without human endeavour.  IoT devices, supported by the speed and connectivity offered by 5G technology, should mean there’s a wealth of data accessible to marketeers. We should be able to access more behavioural and preferential information on customers than we have ever done before – which means we can really tailor our messages with consumers in order to deliver relevant, high quality experiences.

5G will certainly raise audience expectations, so we all need to think about whole heartedly embracing it.