Is MENA Ready for 5G and Mobile Advertising?

Is MENA Ready for 5G and Mobile Advertising
Is MENA Ready for 5G and Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising content is continually evolving, accelerating its consumption. Will 5G further add to the growing popularity of mobile marketing? Let’s find out.

5G will improve more than just our mobile connectivity. Millennials and Gen Z are an impatient lot, and as consumers, that’s a good thing. They are looking for everything to happen in seconds not minutes and expect every app to have an intelligent interface. They don’t like to wait for the videos to buffer, or their downloads to be slow. While these two generations demand better speeds, it’s only fair to expect that the mobile advertisers keep pace with them.

With every version or generation of mobile internet, we have seen a significant improvement in speed and performance. However, 5G is expected to enable emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automated transportation, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to become a reality for both businesses and consumers. Imagine going home from work in a self-driving car, as your smart refrigerator at home reminds you to buy milk.

With 5G comes the evolution of the mobile advertising industry. Marketers will now combine 5G and AI to make real-time, location-based services smarter, more instant, and relevant to consumers. Research shows that an average individual spends about 3-4 hours on the mobile phone each day. Marketing teams can do well if they plan ahead of the upcoming mobile revolution, start building their advertising strategies and adopt the relevant technologies that go hand-in-hand with 5G.

Why are Solution Providers Excited About 5G?

Simple, better technology enables better service and therefore an opportunity to grow business. When 2G was first introduced, we were all excited about voice and SMS services. Then came 3G, and with it, a more personalised mobile experience. 4G brought smartphones to every consumer, and now with the rollout of 5G, service providers are gearing up to provide faster ads, with enhanced speed as it enables hyper-connectivity between machines, people, and things. This will boost a range of new technologies and industrial capabilities.

Christian Andersen, Director of Product Marketing, IBM Middle East and Africa, believes that with 5G, any surface will become an interactive tool for marketers, “Be it televisions, billboards, train stations, buses and even the back of Pantechnicons to name a few!  I anticipate we will see a rise in Holograms, enhanced media, super-fast connectivity, and a dramatic change in how we market our products to ensure we continue to delight our customers. Their expectations and demands will increase, ad-load times will be instant, therefore boosting click-through rates, and us all seeing a decline in our bounce rates, thus increasing the much-needed ROI.”

Also Read: Identifying The Right Marketing Technology is a Challenge for CMOS: Christian Andersen

Here Are Some of the Top Features of 5G

How Will 5G Affect Mobile Advertisers?

5G promises to be noticeably faster than 4G, which means it will allow nearly any consumer with a chip device to be connected to a blazingly fast network even without Wi-Fi. In turn, allowing marketers to collect, analyse, and activate data in real-time, allowing them to edit, modify, or boost an ad based on its real-time performance.

5G and AdTech

What can one expect from advertising in 5G? More Augmented Reality? High-definition and interactive video ads? Alternatively, even some cool voice-based apps? According to a recent poll conducted by Verizon Media, 47% of advertisers believe that new or additional creative formats will arise as a result of 5G. As phones upgrade to 5G and give consumers superior quality cameras and editing apps, even the creation and consumption of high-quality videos will go up.

A higher definition of mobile video content (57%) and consistent and better quality video streaming (54%) are among the 5G benefits. AR- and VR- based apps will take over the retail sector. 5G speeds will be able to support ecommerce apps that give the consumer an opportunity to virtually test or try the product before buying it.

Christian adds that 5G will help marketers explore immersive media like AR and VR, “5G will dramatically change the way we deploy our messaging, we need to be agile and innovative as we move into a much needed visual revamp – moving imagery, and remote viewing will be taken to a whole other level – reshaping the way we are currently driving digital campaigns into the market. In theory, optimisation should be possible on the fly, giving us as marketers the ability to deeply explore immersive media formats such as VR and AR.”

Also Read: A Touch of Reality: AR, VR, and MR are Transforming Marketing

How will 5G impact the Middle East?

Once commercially launched, 5G will give a tremendous boost to the ongoing digital transformation initiatives in the Middle East. The ongoing efforts towards the development of smart cities and autonomous vehicles, robots, and drones will be accelerated considerably. Saleem Al Boushi, Chief Infrastructure Officer at Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company operator Du anticipates that almost 50 million devices worldwide will be connected by 2020. “Of these, a larger proportion will contribute towards human to machine communications. From marketing efforts as well, 5G technology will support the growing demand for watching and sharing high-quality video content online,” he adds.

Also Read: Is Artificial Intelligence Creating a New Mobile Marketing Wave in the Middle East?

Get Ready for the Revolution

5G is not just another G in the series. It is, in fact, a whole new generation of connectivity, communication and consumer experiences. 13 commercial 5G networks were launched in 2018 itself and as the race to 5G expedites, these numbers are expected to touch 55 plus by the end of 2019. The total number of live 5G networks deployed is largest in Europe with 21 networks, followed by the Middle East with 14 of them. In the UAE, local operators Etisalat and Du have confirmed the rollout of 5G in the early second half of 2019.

Like the previous generations, the 5G network too will use a system of cell sites to send data via radio waves. However, the difference is that the 5G networks will rely on networks of small cells, or in other words, transmit data over much shorter distances, thus making it much faster and enabling the modern era of Artificial Intelligence and other technological advancements.

The bottom line is that with 5G, every user can get more data into and through the network, thus being able to offer almost ‘real-time’ and life-like experiences.