5G is Coming

5G will transform not only the advertising world but will revolutionise how we communicate with the connected consumer. As marketers and advertisers, how should we prepare for a world of instant high definition media?

After some initial tests in the US with AT&T and Verizon, the 5G rollout looks to be as transformative for the media industry as the previous two upgrades, 3G being a game-changer. According to Geoff Reiss, General Manager, Yahoo Sports/Verizon Media, “It is not the technology itself but what it unlocks”. It is not simply an upgrade but an exponential jump in potential. The FCC in the US states that 5G is 1,000 times faster than 4G with 100 times less latency. It will enable media dependent on higher resolution and data volume to be served on any device.

5G bandwidth will further catalyse the device consumption shift from desktop to mobile and especially in relation to video. Even today 75% of video impressions are served on mobile devices and so with the potential of zero latency there will be even more importance for sophisticated video content and distribution strategies. Ubiquitous consumption of video content, everywhere and at any time will be expected so we as marketers need to be up to that challenge.

5G will enable us to serve high definition video ads across any device and this will lead to further growth of programmatic buying on the ‘big screens’ of OOH and cinema and programmatic media buying in these channels will take over due to the ability to be able to talk to our customers in real time OOH.

Although VR, AR and 360 ads may be a bit further away 5G bandwidth could finally enable this form of media to be served at the 4k resolution needed to be effective.

The ubiquity of +300Mb/s connection speeds will mean that programmatic technology will have to change and improve in order to take advantage of these speeds in which data can be processed.

5G will not only be revolutionary in our industry, some have even heralded it as the key ingredient: in the “fourth industrial revolution”. 5G will enable the internet of everything due not only to the expanse of its bandwidth but also its rapidity.

However, due to the extremely high cost and simply for the fact that the hardware needed to fully roll this technology out still needs developing the impact we’ll see in the next year will be fairly minimal. In 2020 however, we very much look forward to planning immersive VR video ad campaigns!


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