Rachel Smith

"How will 5G influence the mobile ad industry?"

It’s all anyone is talking about - nearly a decade since 4G was first introduced, 5G (fifth-generation mobile connectivity) is here at long last! Initially launched by EE (3GPP Release 15) at the end of May this year, ‘full’ 5G (3GPPm Release 16), is expected to be commercially rolled out by March 2020¹ and promises major cross-industry developments. 

Forecasted to account for as many as 1.2 billion connections by 2025², this network range, paired with the many mobile opportunities associated with 5G, is anticipated to reinvent mobile advertising as we know it. 

Lightning speeds

The 5G engine will propel the efficiency and viewability of ads! 

At the epicentre for the majority of mobile ad limitations, current connectivity speeds can be a hindrance for advertisers. Slow connectivity can lead to poor loading rates which are obstructive to ad delivery, resulting in ads that are paid for but rarely seen. This is exacerbated by a speed-scrolling approach to mobile content consumption in social media particularly whereby consumers are likely to only see ads that load in small windows of opportunities. The integration of 5G brings a huge speed boost, with mesh network capabilities touted to be twenty times faster than 4G³, facilitating a much-needed upgrade for the user experience of ads. 

Side note - So as not to get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth remembering that over time 5G capabilities will expedite the size of data in an ad unit, so there is the chance that load times could remain an issue. 

Richer experiences

Super-speed means creativity can thrive!

The calibre of 5G’s speed will bring huge freedom for the infrastructure and interactivity of mobile ads. With loading limitations eliminated, we expect to see a new breed of avant-garde and sophisticated mobile advertising.  This is likely to involve a high adoption rate of immersive formats with 3D effects such as AR (augmented reality). These interactive advertising formats are known to have a much higher expected engagement rate than display ads and should greatly enhance impact and memorability. On the other hand, mobile ads that don’t evolve to engage users or inspire creativity could soon face the perils of natural selection.

Real Talk - how likely is all of this?

All value considered, it is clear to see why the integration of 5G is believed to accelerate the mobile ad industry and provide a significantly improved mobile ad experience for both advertisers and users alike. It will probably also give rise to a new generation of pioneering competition and so advertisers should prepare to step-up their game. 

However, how likely is all this to happen anytime soon? Not very. 5G has arrived in its primitive stage of evolution and we expect that it will take a long time before it’s full transformation is complete. 5G relies on a mesh-network whereby the shorter wavelengths only reach 2% of 4G’s range. This means that sufficient coverage can only be achieved through the instalment of ubiquitous 5G beacons which facilitate reinforcement of communication between nodes.  Such a monumental demand on infrastructure is very unlikely to happen overnight due to all of the delays and red-tape involved with infrastructure revival. For example, planning permission is likely to face strong opposition and may not be granted to Grade 1 and Grade 2 listed buildings, of which there are plenty in London alone. 

We remain optimistic about the opportunities that 5G brings, but we expect to be living in a hybrid world of 4G/5G for a long time.  If you want to stay ahead of the curve, get in touch with the Adludio team at hello@adludio.com and learn how to make your mobile advertising 5G-ready!