2019 will see the launch of 5G in several cities across the
UK. The fifth generation of mobile networks will be an evolution of 4G, the
most powerful network currently in use. 5G will transform the way that people
connect with products and services online, as businesses use the leap forward
in technology to improve their marketing and support functions, as well as
creating new sales opportunities.
What are the key differences between 5G and its predecessors?
Everybody assumes that 5G will be simply ‘a bit faster’ than
4G. In terms of exactly how much
faster it’s going to be, 5G will be operating at speeds ten times quicker than
4G, reaching speeds in excess of 1Gb/s. Experts generally agree that 5G will
eventually reach speeds of 10Gb/s, which is 100 times faster than a standard 4G
connection. In layman’s terms, if 3G allows you to download a full HD film in
over a day, and 4G in 7-10 minutes, 5G will allow you to download that same
film in 4-40 seconds.
Arguably the most noticeable benefit of 5G will be the
reduction in latency – the delay between a command being issued by the user and
a response being received. With 3G this latency is around 65 milliseconds,
meanwhile with 4G this is reduced to 40 milliseconds. 5G will be operating with
a latency of just 1 millisecond for mission-critical and Internet of Things
devices, and 4 milliseconds for mobile broadband services.
5G will provide much more network capacity by expanding into
new spectrum – most notably millimetre wave – allowing higher frequencies to be
accessed. When 4G is used, the quality of the user experience is largely
dependent on the number of other mobile devices connected in your immediate
vicinity. So when you’re in a football stadium, with thousands of other people
trying to connect to the internet, you aren’t able to get much done thanks to
4G’s limited capacity. 5G will have far greater headroom, and will be able to
scale its coverage to users’ needs, making the network up to a hundred times
Virtual reality (VR), is the practice of fully immersing
oneself in a three-dimensional computer-simulated world, usually via a headset.
The staggering amount of data required by this technology to provide this
immersive experience means that a connection which lags and is unreliable will
ruin the effect of VR, and the customer experience is lost.
The electrifying connection speed which 5G will bring to this
technology will allow more data to be delivered, instantaneously. VR will therefore
be much more responsive, and will be an experience which is much closer to
One of the major reasons that customers may prefer to shop
in-store rather than online is because they want to fully visualise the
product. A fully immersive virtual reality experience allows this. Not only
important for physical goods, this technology will massively boost sales of
experience–driven sales such as
hotel rooms and theatre seats, as the customer can have a taster of what’s to
come. The power of 5G will build a bridge between the consumer and the product
being sold online, beginning the customer’s journey to the sale.
The use of virtual reality to enhance the viewer’s
experience at live events, such as sporting fixtures and concerts, will add new
dynamism to the impact of advertising. Product placement and branding will
become much more significant tools as virtual reality becomes more commonplace
thanks to 5G.
Companies are increasingly using customer service tools powered
by Artificial Intelligence on e-commerce platforms in the form of chatbots and
virtual personal assistants. These simulate the experience of being in a real
shop with a real shop assistant to help you with your purchase.
Speed is absolutely paramount to successful customer experience,
and the enhanced speed of 5G, combined with a reduction in latency, will make
these customer service tools essential to online businesses. By providing
essential information and advice at lighting speed, retailers will be able to
reduce customer drop-off and cart abandonment, as the right personalised
information is instantly available for customers. By 2020, it’s estimated that 80%
of all online customer interactions will be handled by AI thanks to
the evolution of mobile networks to 5G.
The speed and simplicity that 5G will bring to the
e-commerce experience, partnered with the proliferation of smart and
internet-connected devices in everyday life, will allow online purchases to be
made using devices other than just mobiles and computers.
Cars that can browse the internet using 5G, watches that
allow purchases to be made anytime, anywhere, and even fridges that instantly
put in orders to re-stock themselves when they sense that they’re running low
on certain items, are all examples of how 5G will allow e-commerce to expand
into new avenues.
Flexibility is key
5G will transform the e-commerce journey from start to
finish: the marketing of the product, the purchase of the product, and finally
support and feedback on the product. It’s impossible to predict precisely how
each industry will react to this hyper connectivity, but it’s safe to say that
businesses will need to equip themselves with the right tools to adapt to the
unexpected phenomena that 5G will throw up. Whether this is emerging markets,
unexpected shopper behaviour, or disruptive tech, merchants need to be able to
speak to their customers and take orders in diverse ways to fully realise their
With over 20 years’ payments experience, Trust Payments have been part of the entire evolution of e-commerce so far. The development of mobile connectivity into 5G is another stage that will improve the way that our merchants connect with their customers, and our omnichannel payment solutions will facilitate this. Whether our clients want to conduct commerce on websites, in-store, via apps, over email or on the phone, we have the flexibility to help them achieve this.
To find out how Trust Payments can help your business use the dawn of 5G to drive new business opportunities, get in touch with one of our team today using our contact form.
Trust Payments Ltd, No.1 Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3DG. A company registered in England and Wales with Company Number 11976895.
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