5G: What is it and how will it impact the events industry

May 31, 2019 John Steele

5G technology – the latest in superfast mobile internet. 5G is gaining traction, and just this month mobile phone network providers EE and Vodafone announced they would switch on 5G for users this summer (EE is in fact launching on May 30 across six cities). This also means venues and event organisers can start to utilise the advantages of having higher speeds and better bandwidth. 5G will essentially give faster and better access for all. John Steele, technical director for Blitz, a GES company, shares his knowledge on just how it could transform live events…

Opportunities galore

One of the most exciting things about 5G is that it opens up a world of opportunities across live events and beyond. One of the major developments will no doubt be advancements in livestreaming and immersive technology - which will enhance how we work at events to showcase brands or productions. It will even include technology for self-driving cars and so many more new and exciting innovations.

Depending on the network speeds the carriers role out, the data going to handsets could increase tenfold – it will be interesting to see how much it has increased in the next few years for sure.

 WiFi, what WiFi?

The one great thing for events, is that with the introduction of 5G there will not be such a reliance on WiFi – which at times can be hit or miss as we all know. In fact, the speeds over the 5G cellular network will match, and in some cases exceed, that of WiFi. It also means that the two-way speeds will dramatically increase – live Q&A’s, interaction and responses will become immediate.

The Reality

As with all developments in technology, 5G will work wonders for the word of Virtual Reality, Augmented reality and beyond. VR and mixed reality environments rely so heavily on having strong networks, so it goes hand in hand with faster, better internet access.

Any Concerns?

As with any new development, there are some concerns regarding the wattage of the transmitters and the power needed to move all this data. Some cities have halted 5G trials as a result, but at this point, we can only see how it rolls out and companies can make the decision whether they want to use it or not.

I do believe though, if managed correctly, 5G technology will transform the events space - I think we will see remote content delivery as a given and we will be able to include all sorts of extra information. It’s going to be an interesting time ahead!

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