It’s official: 5G is becoming ‘a thing’. Only this month, Apple unveiled its most price-conscious 5G iPhone yet, the third-generation iPhone SE – in the wake of cellular carriers including EE, O2 and Three having started rolling out their own 5G networks in the UK.
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has hailed 5G technology as “the key ingredient to a new, exciting and transformative period for marketing, a fourth industrial revolution”. However, is this particular level of hype really warranted – particularly for digital marketers?
What does the UK’s 5G picture currently look like?
Mobile operators in the UK have been snapping up 5G spectrum of various frequencies recently – and the frequencies to which your own 5G-ready device connects will have implications for the internet connectivity speeds you are able to unlock through using 5G.
However, in any case, you are likely to find 5G speeds noticeably faster than those of 4G. In this light, it becomes more understandable why the IPA has suggested that 5G will be “as relevant as steam, electricity and the microchip in transforming our lives”.
The Institute points out that “every new advancement in mobile generation has added new services, with 2G it was voice, with 3G we started browsing online, and with 4G it has been all about video consumption.” However, 5G “will be more profound and have a far more significant impact”.
How 5G could (at least theoretically) upend digital marketing
5G is built to deliver speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second, and has the bandwidth to facilitate the instant delivery of 4K-quality video content. Indeed, such are the speeds possible with 5G, websites will be able to integrate a broader array of interactive multimedia features without slowing down loading times and consequently hampering the user experience.
That would be no small benefit, given that Google classes a webpage’s speed as an SEO ranking factor. However, you shouldn’t go overboard with sprucing up your website if doing so would adversely affect its usability in other ways, such as by making crucial links hard to find.
It’s also questionable to what practical extent 5G would enable you to overhaul your website in the foreseeable future. The new iPhone SE, for example, lacks support for mmWave – a catch-all term for 5G frequency bands above 6GHz, none of which are currently available in the UK.
Is 5G really living up to the hype?
Right now, many people could find that 4G connectivity continues meeting plenty of their personal needs. Nonetheless, as 5G becomes increasingly ubiquitous over the next few years, the same people could soon find it surprisingly cost-effective to step up to this new standard of mobile connectivity.
The new iPhone SE could already help to make 5G more mainstream – especially given how quickly pre-order delivery times for this SE started to slip. In any case, we can help you to future-proof your digital marketing efforts – such as by creating a wide range of SEO marketing content capable of attracting users on both 4G- and 5G-compatible devices.