Damilola Abodunrin

Business Head of iProspect Nigeria

When 5G lands in Africa, it will change everything. Damilola Abodunrin, Business Head of iProspect Nigeria, explains this new reality.

What is 5G?

5G is the next (5th) generation of wireless communication technologies supporting cellular data networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to virtually connect everyone and everything, including machines, objects and devices like smartphones and tablets, as well as virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa.

According to Qualcomm, 5G wireless technology is designed to deliver higher multi-Gbps (gigabits per second) peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency create new user experiences and connect new industries.

5G Diagram

How is it different from 3G or 4G?

Compared to 3G mobile networking, 4G enabled previously impossible quality video streaming and calling on the go. More video streaming has, however, increased congestion in the network.

The most popular features of 5G are the bandwidth and speed. 5G speeds will range from 50 Mbits/s (megabits per second) to over 2 Gbits/s (gigabits per second) upon deployment, compared to the 10 Mbits/s – 15 Mbits/s experienced on 4G today.

In addition to the near-instant download of HD movies, we will be able to manipulate delicate machinery remotely, with almost no lag time.

The biggest differentiator of 5G over 4G will be its use as a gateway for the Internet of Things (IoT) at scale. We will see accelerated growth in smart communication between devices.

5G networking will be revolutionary for data-driven industries, smart cities and infrastructure management, as these devices will require 5G telecommunication to work reliably and securely.

Several other benefits of 5G over 4G include less latency, capacity for a larger number of connected devices and better efficiency.

How should marketers approach 5G?

Consumers will be able to stream higher-quality video content faster than ever; digital platforms will be able to support smart and interactive content, which may be initiated by human engagement or smart IoT devices. There will be increased personalisation of marketing communication due to the surge in data generated and brand experiences will take on new formats, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

5G presents the next evolution in a marketer’s ability to deliver brand messaging that will enrich customer experiences.

These possibilities are not futuristic, since they are already happening today; and marketers should position to fully leverage this reality.

Harness data to improve consumer experiences

Data represents the most vital element in marketing today. As the volume of data increases, investment in Marketing Technology (MarTech) infrastructure will enable marketers to access, interpret, implement and enrich consumer data responsibly, legally and in real time. MarTech will enable marketers to sift through the deluge of data to not just build the profile of the most valuable consumer, but also to identify and adapt to any changes in habit, preferences and interests.

Personalisation will improve our ability to build meaningful relationships between brands and consumers.

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will improve the efficiency of MarTech solutions through automation as management of data exceeds human capacity. With AI, marketers will be able to anticipate trends early and make recommendations for us to leverage.

Innovate: Forge New Alliances

Marketers must create a culture of innovation and seek out opportunities for experimentation. Today’s marketing channels will continue to be disrupted; channels that fail to adapt to change will ultimately be phased out.

As consumers seek out new experiences presented by 5G, marketers must monitor trends to identify the most relevant formats to deliver rich brand experiences at scale.

New alliances will need to be forged between media and creative teams, platform owners, engineers and data scientists to build solutions that will harness these new consumer experiences.

Is Nigeria ready for it?

There are concerns that 5G will also expose us to more security breaches and privacy issues and health problems.

The fundamentals already exist in some form in the market: government policies around data and privacy, security measures and protocol, a vibrant technology sector, a growing culture of cross-border collaboration among stakeholders in the marketing supply chain.

While these are at varying stages of maturity, with some still in their nascent stages, marketers must look ahead and prepare for the inevitable evolution of consumer experiences heralded by 5G.

A good place to start is to review existing marketing technologies and data infrastructure against current market realities. Many data-oriented businesses, including Fintech, e-commerce and insurance, will be able to quickly leverage improved data-management infrastructure.

Getting the most out of data and technology is a critical driver of success in the digital economy. Used well, they enable brands to create closer relationships with their customers through more relevant, compelling communications and experiences. This is where Dentsu Data Labs comes in.

Powered by experts in data and technology with experience in driving business performance for clients across industries, we make it easy to turn data into actionable insight. We use these insights to deliver joined-up experiences for your customers across all touch points.

There’s a lot to assimilate and unpack, but as 5G takes shape and becomes part of our reality, we’ll keep discovering new ways to harness the technology and enhance the consumer’s world.