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Losing your latency: How 5G will revolutionise your mobile-first customer experience in 2020

Losing your latency: How 5G will revolutionise your mobile-first customer experience in 2020

By Mike Norrington

“5G will enable a fully-mobile and connected society — unleashing human and technological possibility and fuelling business and financial opportunity. It will erode the boundaries between the physical and the digital to deliver personalised experiences and valuable services that will test the limits of our collective imaginations.” 

Asha Keddy, Vice President in the Technology, Systems Architecture & Client Group and General Manager of Next Generation and Standards at Intel


A much-needed response to ever-demanding consumer expectations and bloated 4G networks, 5G offers the next generation of mobile internet, delivering faster and more reliable device connectivity than ever before.

Having soft-launched in 2019, 5G is the next leap in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and if it’s not already available in your area, it will be soon. The impact of 5G will be game-changing but gradual, with widespread adoption across the UK in 2020 and the nation expected to be 5G-ready by 2022.

Along with the wider societal benefits of powering the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) – think fully automated vehicles, smart buildings, cloud services, industry automation and even remote surgery – this connectivity has the potential to open the flood gates for more immersive, more exciting mobile-first customer experiences.

Key to these experiences will be Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC). Latency is the time it takes data to travel from one point to another, and 5G will deliver near-instant 1millisecond (ms) latency for IoT applications and a targeted 4ms for mobile broadband services. Couple this with speeds promising to be 100 times faster than 4G, allowing a HD movie to be downloaded in 10 seconds and a 1GB video to be uploaded to YouTube in under 15 seconds, and you can start to get an idea of the power and possibilities that 5G networks will bring.

What could this mean for digital marketing, us at twentysix and your business?

Faster and more reliable mobile-first experiences

Brands and services will continue to prioritise optimisation of website speed and performance, whilst also being able to focus on more engaging, mobile-first forms of rich content without the concern of penalisation from search engines due to slow-loading experiences. Mobile-first behaviour typically means on-the-go micro-moments, so content will need to reflect this and the growing use of ‘screenless’ (voice) search to answer in-the-moment questions – think problem-solving content delivered in a more conversational and immersive manner than currently possible. If it needed further confirmation, 5G will cement mobile as the primary channel to reach, engage and fulfill the needs and desires of your audience.

Quality video, quality advertising

With 5G reducing buffer time to almost zero, your customers will be engaged with far more high-definition video throughout the day. They’ll be more opportunity for video advertising and brands should be looking to create more quality video content. Combine this behavioural data with that of the explosion of the IoT and brands will be able to target potential customers with hyper-personalised messaging, in the most engaging format and at exactly the right real-time moment to inspire action.

Immersive technologies

More than ever before, brands, services and game creators have been experimenting with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), but all have had the same performance issues – requiring a low latency, high bandwidth network for optimal experiences. 5G will mean a more open playing field to experiment with these technologies, unlocking the cloud for streaming content to more affordable devices and delivering more enhanced, more immersive and more interactive customer experiences and games for all kinds of product, industry and gaming verticals. 

The benefit to the bottom line

According to this report from Barclays Corporate Bank, a nationwide upgrade to 5G technologies could add £15.7b of business revenue to the UK economy. The technology has the power to speed up business processes across the country, with revenue growth forecasted to extend outside of the typical technology centres, as high-speed internet empowers business growth in both urban and rural areas.

"The rollout of 5G offers a huge opportunity for the UK. We're seeing massive potential for business growth, which ultimately delivers a positive knock-on effect for the whole economy.”

Sean Duffy, Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms at Barclays 

So, what does 2020 have in store for the mobile customer experience of your business? 

Only time will tell. For us, it’s exciting to think that we’ll be able to help mould the next generation of mobile-first experiences, served at lightning speed to your customers through 5G technology. A future that is one step closer to the hyper-reality, and one that we’d like to help you make a success of.

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The Author

Mike Norrington

Mike Norrington

Head of Creative

Mike is a designer and art director with over a decade of experience thinking up compelling, insight-driven creative and user-centred design. As Head of Creative, Mike relishes the daily opportunities of the business age of digital transformation and the challenges inherent in the leadership of an award-winning creative team.