Episode 1: 5G – Not Just Another G

      

In the first episode of FIVE, Jake and his guests discuss the advances and attributes that set 5G apart from other mobile generations. They discuss the consumer benefits 5G spectrum, millimeter wave,  low latency and edge computing. Jake talks about the timing of 5G at scale, 5G iPhones and consumers experiences with Yory Wormser from eMarketer. Peter Linder of Ericsson talks 5G as a better game of golf. Jake steps through the five shifts that every marketer should know about and expect as a result of 5G.

Guests:

  • Yoram Wurmser, Principal / Mobile Analyst at eMarketer
  • Peter Linder, VP of 5G Marketing at Ericsson

FIVE – The 5G Podcast for Marketers
Presented by the Emodo Institute and Ericsson Emodo

Host
Jake Moskowitz, Head of the Emodo Institute

Producers
Robert Haskitt
Adam Kapel
Jake Moskowitz

Music
Dyaphonic
The Small Town Symphonette


FIVE – The 5G Podcast for Marketers: Episode Transcript

Episode 1: 5G – Not Just Another G

 

00:00:02 – 00:05:03

Jake Moskowitz

Before the next presidential inauguration, sales of next gen 5G devices will be in full swing. And the major US carriers will be offering competitive 5G plans. The race is on. Welcome to FIVE, the podcast that breaks down 5G for marketers. This is episode one, not just another G.

There’s a lot of talk about 5G and not just from techies and telecommers. It’s a looming technology shifts that some believe is going to spark a lot of change in digital marketing. 5G’s impact among consumers, brands and agencies will be significant, maybe profound. The question is how? In what ways specifically? And when? That’s what we’re setting out to uncover. This episode is the first in an entire series the dives into the potential, and some of the challenges, of 5G for marketers. My name is Jake Moskowitz. I’m the head of the Emodo Institute, an organization that focuses on the research and education of data challenges in mobile marketing. I’ve been involved in mobile marketing measurement for over twenty years. The Emodo Institute is part of Emodo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ericsson, the telecommunications company. Ericsson powers about eighty percent of US mobile traffic, works with every major US. Carrier, and, is a primary developer of 5G capabilities and infrastructure. So, occasionally, in our episodes, we’ll check in with 5G experts and site Ericsson research.

Now, if you believe all the hype, 5G looks like a sudden, revolutionary change rivaled only by the internet for marketing. If you’ve tuned out the 5G hype. I don’t blame you. It’s kind of hard to know what’s real and what you can even do about it. But you might be tuning out some really important signals along with all that noise. Or, maybe you haven’t followed 5G at all. Either way, we’re going to sort through the claims, explore visionary ideas and zero in on the real possibilities for marketers. Sometimes people get so carried away by 5G, they incorrectly attribute a wide range of futuristic scenarios to 5G, so throughout the series, we’re going to be very specific as to what advancements are truly made possible, or viable by 5G. We’ll look at the impact of 5G on consumer experiences and gauge opportunities for brands and their agencies and the shifts and advances in programmatic, targeting and data… oh and privacy. Privacy is a big deal. 5G will have an impact there too. Just so we’re all starting on the same page. Let’s take a minute to talk about what we’re talking about: 5G. What is it? And when is it, really?

5G is the next generation of mobile communications infrastructure. It’s been a highly-coordinated project that’s involved many companies across many countries for the last several years. It’s launching in multiple countries over the next several years. The US is one of the first. That launch has started. Some of the core advantages of 5G, like improvements in speed, and throughput are the kind of updates you’d expect from next gen mobile infrastructure. When 4G launched, those improvements enabled highly influential new consumer facing companies like Snapchat and Lyft, but this time around, while those metrics increase substantially, again, there other dramatic improvements. And it’s these that make 5G truly not just another G. They enable the type of evolution that makes all kinds of new experiences and marketing capabilities possible for the first time. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Look at your phone. Right now, you’ve got 4G LTE or even 3G service. 5G is barely even deployed. So, what’s the deal? What’s all the fuss? There are definitely detractors and reasons to question some of the exuberance that surrounds 5G. Let’s take a look at a few.

  • According to eMarketer’s recent report, getting ready for 5G. It will be several years before 5G is a ubiquitous standard and only around fifty million devices will be connected to 5G networks worldwide by next year.
  • Some of the big consumer advantages won’t even be noticeable when early users moved to a 5G network.
  • And although you’re probably seeing ads for 5G service from big mobile carriers, at the time of this recording you can’t even buy a 5G phone. They don’t exist.

Generally, that may sound, for now, like you can push 5G out of your peripheral vision. But there are some important details that get lost in the hype and generalizations. If you’re involved in marketing or advertising, these details are pretty important. In telecommunications circles, 5G’s claims to fame are numerous.

 

00:05:03 – 00:10:05

It’s faster, has lower latency, and has greater reliability, capacity, efficiency and scale-ability. How much better are we talking about?

Peter Linder:

The reality is that it’s both evolution and revolution at the same time.

Jake Moskowitz:

That’s Peter Linder, Ericsson’s, head of marketing for 5G in North America. Why not go to the source to find out what’s different about 5G, Right?

Peter Linder

If you look at the things that are revolutionary with 5G, the performance figure are significant beyond what we have been seeing in the past, it’s a revolution in the sense it’s not a consumer device that’s driving it. What is driving the whole 5G market forward that’s equally important is how to support business’ digital transformation. And the spectrum – it’s way more spectrum than we have or have had access to any mobile application in the past. So, there’s a number different parameters that you can look at to say “Ho, this is really revolutionary.” The evolution is coming very much from the sense that, well, the smartphone is going to be the main device in the beginning and fixed and mobile broadband is most likely the application that was start with. It’s an evolution in the sense that we start evolving from the 4G network into 5G. So, there’s a number of these things that are evolutionary and other things that revolutionary and they sort of coexist in the same frame.

Jake Moskowitz:

Before 5G can be deployed in any country, the operating frequencies, or spectrum, need to be allocated to the regional mobile carriers. As of today, that critical step hasn’t even been taken in many of the participating 5G countries. But, that step has been taken in the US, and the US is the focus of this podcast. The US government is actually pretty bullish on 5G. One reason for that is that 5G was designed, in part, to connect machines, supply chains and commerce at unprecedented scale and speed. Commerce is good. Also in the US, 4G connections are generally much slower than in Europe, and Asia.

Peter Linder:

The North American grid and the European grid and the Asian grid, like Japan for example, are different. So, there’s been different philosophies regarding when the grid has been built regarding how close to have the towers together. So, the great North America is perhaps where we have the least amount of towers in like a metropolitan area compared to Europe for example. That’s both a threat and an opportunity. In Europe, you could perhaps get away with do mid-band solutions, from the existing towers to large areas of population. In the US. We are far down the road of developing a millimeter wave technology. We’re far down the road of understanding how close to users, both fixed and broadband applications. If we, at least in the beginning, focus our build on some of the us places where we see the biggest vantages, this could be really, really exciting and a breeding ground for applications around it that then can be brought to the rest of the world.

Jake Moskowitz:

Makes sense. The US is a much larger market to connect than most, so for US consumers 5G is likely to have a greater experiential impact here than in many other places. 5G is also racing forward here because, well, you know, capitalism. There’s some pretty healthy competition amongst a number of highly motivated mobile carriers.

Peter Linder:

Yeah. So, the way to explain, if you play golf today, 3G and 4G are a little bit like playing golf with a three iron or four iron. Its reach reasonably long with reasonable accuracy and its good for lots of purposes. You could essentially play golf with them, even when you get close to the green. What 5G adds is spectrum and options upwards and downwards. So, we moving into six, seven hundred megahertz which enable you to reach even further.

Jake Moskowitz:

Which is kind of like your driver, right?

Peter Linder:

Which is kind of your driver. We’re moving into mid-band and the higher end of mid-band spectrum, which is like the wedge. All of a sudden you have short game wedge, which is more accurate and doesn’t reach so far. But the accuracy is improved. And then you’ve got the high-band which is really for sealing the deal. So, that’s essentially your putter. You know your accuracy is within ten centimeters, four inches, whenever you use it. And, so all of a sudden, with 4G it was a game about playing with your three or four iron the whole round and everyday was a universal kind of thing, 5G gives you access to a whole bag of clubs which you can apply for different kinds of use cases.

Jake Moskowitz:

Thanks, Peter. Yory Wurmser is a principal analyst at eMarketer. He’s the primary, author of eMarketer’s recent 5G report titled “Getting ready for 5G.” It’s an excellent read, by the way, especially for marketers.

Yory Wurmser:

The US is definitely going to be in the lead when it comes to 5G. Part of the reason is that the networks in the US are diving into the millimeter wave frequencies.

 

00:10:05 – 00:15:02

Yory Wurmser:

They’re getting access to that spectrum earlier than in some countries. And that allows for pretty quick introduction. By the same token, T-mobile is going on low band, sort of building on top of their existing low-band architecture, which will allow for pretty rapid nationwide coverage for 5G. So, you’re seeing different strategies by different telecom companies. But the overall effect, I believe, is going to be a pretty rapid build out of the 5G network in the US.

Jake Moskowitz:

What do you think the implications are of 5G on the costs to consumers?

Yory Wurmser:

At least my expectation is they’ll probably pay more. That’s always been the pattern in the past – That you pay a little bit extra for the latest. I think eventually 5G is a more efficient network, more efficient technology and set of technologies. So, I think it will allow for much more functionality at a pretty affordable price. So, I think in the long run, it’s actually going to be cheaper for consumers, but I expect that network providers will probably have some initial extra charge for 5G.

Jake Moskowitz:

I couldn’t agree more with that. I get a chance these days to go around to different agencies and talk about 5G. That’s the question that comes up a lot. Am I going to have to pay extra for 5G? But the thing is, as the Verizon CEO presented at CS this year, 5G networks can be ninety percent more efficient. So, I would expect the carriers are desperately going to want as many consumers as possible to be on 5G network. So, I think they’re going to do a lot to incentivize consumers to get onto 5G. Maybe they’ll subsidize phones to some extent if the phones are more expensive in the early days, which they likely will be.

Yory Wurmser:

I think early phones will be really expensive, because it’ll be mostly the early adapters who buy those. They’re not a very price sensitive group. I think it’s the second wave – the second generation of phones – they’ll probably come out right at the end of 2019 and early 2020 where you’re probably going to start seeing the carriers really encouraging people to buy new phones with subsidies.

Jake Moskowitz:

Can you tell us about Apple and what to expect in the roll out of the 5G iPhone and what factors may play into that?

Yory Wurmser:

Well, Apple has always been slow about adapting new cellphone network technology. They were among the latest of the major manufacturers with 4G and believe even 3G, if I’m not wrong. I could be wrong about that. But certainly, with 4G. I think everyone is saying they’re not going to put it into to the 2019 phone – the iPhone eleven.

Jake Moskowitz:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the court case Apple had been locked in with Qualcomm until April of this year, which put Apple way behind, and using autumn modems and 5G phones.

Yory Wurmser:

I’m not convinced that’s the sole reason that they’re not diving into 5G. It could contribute for sure though. What I’m hearing his 2020 seems pretty likely. And the reason they do that, as they like seeing other companies fix the glitches, experiment with the new network. They like to fix glitches, figure out the antenna structure that works best. And then they come in and just perfect what other people have already tested. They’ve done that over and over again with all types of different features on their phones. They’ll probably do that with 5G. And 5G, in fact, probably won’t really take off broadly until 2020. The networks will be around in 2019. You’re going to have millions of people around the world already on 5G towards the end of 2019, but you’re not going to see the tens of millions of people on there until 2020. So, I think Apple is waiting for that mass influx of people coming in in 2020 and also, they want to see other companies figure out what’s working and what isn’t until the technology is a little tested.

Jake Moskowitz:

Yory, you talk in your report about Uber and Netflix as examples of services, and ultimately multibillion dollar companies, that reached their heyday, if not started as a direct result of 4G. What are the implications of that for 5G? Like what kinds of services, what should we expect in a world of 5G?

Yory Wurmser:

Well, I mean, the point that I was making is you can’t really expect what 5G will bring by drawing a line from 4G. You couldn’t really see Netflix developing or Uber developing in a 3G world. You know, if you just had a little bit more speed. You needed that big quantum leap in speed to be able to stream movies efficiently to see Netflix really take off and shift from a mail order service to a streaming video service. And it’s that type of leap, that quantum leap, that comes with not just the speed of the downloads, but the latency, that could drive some really transformative new services.

 

00:15:02 – 00:20:04

Yory Wurmser:

I am thinking specifically about shifting a lot of stuff to the cloud. A lot of the computing to the cloud, which will allow for smaller extended reality headsets. It will allow for multi-perspective media. So, for instance, broadcasting of sports events where you could see different cameras. You can choose which cameras that you’re seeing, which feed the pick up. I mean, those are kind of the early possibilities of something I could imagine. But there are so many others out there that are enabled when you have so much more throughput coming, so much more download capacity, and such less latency. You know you really can’t predict what’s going to happen, because the 5G improvements are multidimensional. It’s not just the higher throughput. It’s also much lower latency and much higher capacity. All of that can have a really big impact.

Jake Moskowitz:

Before the next presidential inauguration, 5G will be in place across major US markets. Sales of next-gen 5G devices will be in full swing. And, the major US carriers will be offering competitive 5G plans. The race is on.

For proactive brands and agencies 5G can open a door to a variety of new opportunities, some as yet. Undefined. Let’s start with the big picture…

Jake’s FIVE List:

At a high level, 5G is expected to be a catalyst for a number of critical shifts every marketer should know about. When you pack them all down, I’d say the number is… five.

  1. The first is the shifting shape of marketing data. 5G will change the way data flows. How it’s sourced how we define audience segments, even how we handle issues like accuracy, and privacy. The sheer volume of new devices and data sources that will spring from 5G will improve data models significantly and move marketing away from deterministic data to AI.
  2. There’ll be a shift in consumer tolerance. Today’s ad ecosystem is overloaded with tags, redirects, waterfalls complex multi auction processes, the right now speed of 5G will erode consumer tolerance for slow or relevant ads. Programmatic vendors like DSP’s, exchanges, SSP’s and data providers are going to have to evolve in order to keep up. Some won’t.
  3. There’ll be a shift in the ways retailers and other real world businesses attract and engage consumers. 5G small cell networking will take visitor tracking and in-store experiences to new levels and make location targeting, personalization, and consumer engagement more robust and accurate, both inside and out. It’ll change how retailers will entice customers to visit their stores.
  4. Be prepared for a shift and market pressure. The speed, low latency and efficiency of 5G is already igniting renewed excitement in AR, VR, IOT and other consumer technologies. Once consumers jump in, they’ll expect certain brands to be there too. Brands will expect their agencies to be ready. Those that haven’t already prepared won’t have answers.
  5. Finally, you’re going to see a shift in power. 5G is likely to elevate mobile carriers to new positions of power within the bigger marketing ecosystem. Will mobile carriers become the new ISPs? Are they destined to become the next media titans? Or, could the mobile operators hold the key to next-gen marketing as the unifiers of the consumer experience? The answer may well be “all of the above.”

That’s a lot of change. There’s a lot to cover. So, throughout this podcast, these shifts will be thematic common threads that run through the various episodes in our series. Also, throughout the series. We’ll look at big topics from multiple angles, including the consumer the market, the marketer and the technology angle, and we’ll go deep in every episode. I’ll talk with guests like Peter and Yory – thought-leading marketers, telecom wizards, ad tech experts, analysts and media insiders who’ve already ventured way down their respective 5G paths.

My expertise is data and measurement. I want to explore areas like the issues 5G brings up regarding privacy, how 5G might enable true, people-based marketing and how it impacts targeting, machine learning, predictive modeling and other data related issues. So, we’ll go there too.

Before we go. There’s a lot of hype and misinformation out there about 5G it can be tricky to know what’s truth, and what’s not.

 

00:20:04 – 00:21:31

Jake’s Bonus FIVE List:

Since the show is called FIVE, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a top five list whenever it’s warranted. So, here the top five indicators that someone who considers themselves a 5G authority probably isn’t, or that the 5G article you’re reading is too elementary to inform near-term decisions.

  1. 5G will be too expensive for consumers
  2. 5G is to 4G what 4G was to 3G, it’s faster
  3. 5G networks, that have been launched aren’t very fast
  4. 5G will make ads load faster when it hits the market
  5. 5G is going to enable life changing procedures, like remote surgery

On the next FIVE, we’ll take a closer look at AR and VR and discuss the extended reality experiences and opportunities that may finally become viable, even mainstream, on 5G mobile networks. To understand the marketing implications, we’ll push past the hype and look at what’s real, and we’ll talk to some visionary marketing experts along the way.

Thanks for joining us. I’d like to thank my guest Peter Linder of Ericsson and Yory Wurmser of eMarketer.

The FIVE podcast is presented by Ericsson Emodo and the Emodo Institute and features original music by Dyaphonic and The Small Town Symphonette. This episode was produced by Robert Haskitt, Adam Kapel and me. I’m Jake Moskowitz.