Hey mobile marketers, there’s a new G in town; 5G.

Ok, bad joke. But it’s been almost a decade since 4G made its debut, so it’s an exciting time in the world of mobile. Read on to get up to speed on everything you need to know about 5G and what the latest broadband cellular network technology means to mobile app marketers.


1. What is 5G?

5G is shorthand for the 5th generation broadband cellular network technology. It’s the mobile network technology that connects your mobile devices to the internet. Each generation boasts speeds faster than the last, and 5G is no exception.

5G uses a technology called MIMO which stands for massive multiple-input, multiple output and essentially works by connecting to a large number of signals for faster, better wireless capabilities.

Basically, 5G allows for better than ever connectivity and support for our vastly evolving digital world.

2. What’s the Difference between 5G & 4G?

You might be thinking, “my smartphone and mobile devices already run incredibly fast”. That may be true, but as the old saying goes, ignorance is bliss. Industry experts claim that you will notice a big difference in load times, streaming quality, and responsiveness.

Below is a breakdown of the upgrades with 5G:

The Capabilities

  • 10x + faster download speeds
  • Ridiculously fast mobile responsiveness: Less latency or delay from the time you tap the screen to the time you see the effect (think: gamers, posting to social media)
  • Higher quality streaming (video, FaceTime, etc.) with virtually no lag time
  • Real-time information pinged from your wearable technology
  • More connectivity for internet of things

3. When Does 5G Officially Launch?

That depends on who you ask. Verizon officially launched its 5G home broadband network in select US cities earlier this month.

But we care about mobile. It looks like AT&T will be the first wireless company out the gate with 5G launching in a select few US cities later this year and more in 2019. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile all says they’ll rollout 5G wireless in certain cities sometime next year.

Internationally, companies like Vodaphone plan to do some trialling with the network before committing to a firm date.

All in all, expect the rollout of 5G to be gradual and span the next few years.

4. Do Users Need New Mobile Devices To Access 5G?

Yes. Because 5G harnesses an entirely new technology, your 4G phone will soon be worthless. There are plenty of companies working on 5G smartphones, with many slated to launch next year.

Bad news for the 700 million iPhone users. Apple, in typical fashion, is in no rush to adopt the technology. They want to wait until the dust settles and all the kinks are worked out before adding it to their mobile devices.

5. How Can Mobile App Marketers Take Advantage of 5G?

5G technology unlocks a world of possibilities for mobile apps. Here’s the lowdown on what to get excited about:

  • Internet Of Things (IoT): IoT gets thrown around non stop in the tech world. With 5G, the realization of IoT can start to happen. That’s because it will allow more devices to readily connect and ping back information, making them smarter. That means we’ll have an even better understanding of our users, as well as the ability to connect with them through a multitude of devices from wearables to voice activated devices.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR): Remember the glory days of Pokemon GO? Mobile marketers everywhere jumped on the AR/VR bandwagon but not much came to fruition. With 5G, we’ll finally be able to handle the streaming capacity needed to realize AR and VR’s true potential. The sky’s the limit on what mobile app marketers (and developers) can do with these fun technologies.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Thanks to the reliability and connectivity power of 5G, we’ll tap into a whole new level of AI and machine learning that will allow apps to do incredible things like power self driving cars.
  • Even Better Data: Since the reliability of 5G technology far exceeds 4G expect users and their plethora of mobile devices to be much more connected. This equates to even better, real-time data capabilities for things like location-based marketing and push notifications.

Final Thoughts

While it feels like everyone and their mother is talking about 5G, the reality is it’s going to take a few year to see it come to life. It’s going to be quite a process switching everything over. The good news is that means mobile app marketers have plenty of time to prepare to 5G capabilities if they start now.

What are you most excited about with 5G? Comment below.