The Consumer Electronics Show was held last week in Las Vegas, bringing together the world’s leading minds and products in the fields of technology and consumer electronics.Among the most anticipated technology upgrades is the expected move to 5G cellular technology. All of the major cell carriers are working on upgrading their networks, with the rollout expected to take place in several phases over the next two years.

5G promises much faster network speeds than 4G, faster message sends and the ability to connect far more devices to a network. The upgrade is expected to make just about everything we do on the Internet via smart phones work faster and better, but it also promises to open up many more opportunities for the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), which likely will connect to the Internet everything from your houselights to your garage door and even your toaster …if that kind of thing is important to you. It’s also expected to create many more marketing opportunities as more people and devices spend more time connected to the Internet, consuming more content.

The upgrade to 4G from 3G sparked an astounding increase in both mobile Internet use and digital advertising. 4G networks and the smartphones and other devices designed to fully utilize 4G gave consumers the power of supercomputers in the palm of their hands, allowing them to quickly and easily search the Internet for products and services, reviews, media and answers to nearly any question.
4G rolled out in 2010, but it was three years later that Snapchat and Uber debuted, applying and extending the faster network to previously unknown applications. 5G is likely to spark even wider changes.

Increased speed likely will lead to a greater consumption of Internet content, creating new opportunities for digital marketers.

IKEA and other retailers already are experimenting with augmented reality, enabling consumers to digitally view furniture in their homes or how clothes look on their bodies.

Existing technology is likely to get smarter. Smart speakers will do more, hear more, understand more and provide more and better answers. New technologies likely will be developed to take advantage of 5G’s increased bandwidth.

Like the roll-out of 4G, it likely will take several years before 5G is fully installed and several years more before devices take full advantage. But it’s important for digital marketers to pay attention to the changing landscape and begin making plans to take advantage of all that 5G will have to offer.

5G offers 3 distinct advantages over the current system:

Speed — With a top speed of 20 gigabits per second, 5G is 200 times faster than 4G’s top speed of about 1 gigabit per second.
Reduced Latency — 5G will allow devices to connect to each other and to the Internet much more quickly, allowing for an uninterrupted string of rich information, like video. With far less lag, devices will better support augmented reality, virtual reality, and other data-intensive applications.
Connectivity — A massive amount of data can be collected and transmitted quickly with 5G. This will allow for more data, live data, faster reporting and better capabilities for Artificial Intelligence.
Personalization — Faster connections will allow devices to transmit more data faster, allowing marketers to be much more specific about who they target, when and how they reach them.
Augmented Reality — The increased data limits likely will increase the capability of this growing technology. Cellphones already use AR with filters for Instagram and FaceTime.
Decreased use of ad-blockers — As load time becomes less of a concern, the use of ad-blockers is likely to decline. According to Hubspot, more than one-third of people who use ad-blockers today say they do it because of slow load times.
Better analytics — Faster and better data collection and transmission will enable digital marketing performance analytics to happen in real-time.
More Video — According to Vox, almost two-thirds of all videos viewed online are done so using home broadband. 5G will be able to download full length HD movies in seconds.