Bolder Thinking Blog

Canadian carriers make 5G network claims

November 5th, 2020 | Emily Groch

As Canadian carriers roll out their next-gen network offerings, 5G claims are becoming more frequent in marketing. The early 5G network claims are not yet distinctive from one another, however, and carriers often relied upon 4G’s record of performance to help boost perception of 5G.

Dueling “largest 5G” claims

Both Bell and Rogers are running the same network claim about having the nation’s largest 5G. Not only does this dilute the power of the message for both providers, but could also be confusing for consumers. Both may need to consider how to better differentiate their messaging.  

5G builds on existing 4G accolades

Carriers sometimes mentioned 5G alongside 4G network claims or recognition. By reinforcing the quality of their 4G networks, carriers can build consumer confidence in their overall network capabilities, including positive associations with 5G.   

For example, in an October social post, Telus featured Opensignal’s finding that it has the “fastest network globally.” The ad explained that Telus was “building on that strength and speed” as it rolls out 5G. 

In marketing for the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G, Bell suggested that the 5G-capable device would be “even better on Canada’s best national network.” 

Rogers paired its “largest 5G network” message with “Canada’s most reliable network.” 

Use cases remain rare

There aren’t many compelling use cases for consumer 5G yet, but some carriers are attempting to illustrate the value of 5G through potential uses for a faster, lower latency network. Telus, for example, tied 5G to the timely topic of working from anywhere. Experiences like this can help drive an emotional connection to 5G.    

What we think 

Network claims may feel abstract and ungraspable to consumers until they can attach those ideas to experiences.

Experiences, which refers to how consumers seek out stimulation, is one of Mintel’s Seven Consumer Trend Drivers. It offers an important lens for how brands can make connections with consumers.

For example, carriers have an opportunity to connect with consumers by enabling their interest in Adventure. Telus gets at this with its “work from anywhere” 5G content marketing. But given the transformative power of 5G, carriers should consider the myriad ways next-gen networks can offer experiences that sate this drive for the new and exciting.

Emily Groch

Emily Groch

Emily Groch is Comperemedia’s Director of Insights, Telecommunications, providing omni-channel marketing analysis and competitive insights to telecom providers.