5G Will Be the End of Queuing at Gigs, Says O2

By Holly Brockwell on at

We've heard a lot of big and bold claims for 5G to try to get people hyped, but O2's latest is a new one on us.

In a joint research paper focusing on the effects of 5G on entertainment with analysts Ovum, O2 concluded that not only might 5G boost the entertainment sector by £2.3 billion in the next decade, it could also mean we don't have to queue for drinks at gigs:

Queuing for drinks at the bar could become a thing of the past, thanks to the reduction of latency which enables order-in-advance systems, real-time analytics of the busiest bars, and apps using wayfinding to get spectators around venues, as well as meeting up with friends easily. A 5G network will provide greater speeds and more capacity to ensure fans have strong signal to fully use all these tools, as well as share their experiences live across their social platforms.

So presumably 5G will mean we can find out in real-time that the toilets are currently empty (because the band is playing their big hit) and get directions to the nearest stall for the quickest possible whizz.

Some more potential upsides for gig-goers:

"Immediately after the show, fans will be able to get their very own personalised highlights reel sent directly to their device as event organisers harness the connectivity of multiple camera angles and the superfast network to create quick videos for fans to enjoy on the way home.

Fans not able to attend in person will be able to pay to live stream gigs no matter where they are – and will have the ability to personalise their experience. Choosing from multiple camera angles or opting to focus on specific elements of a performance or match, such as a particular member of a band or sports team, will not only boost the entertainment experience – they serve to generate revenue by enabling brands to target advertising during live events. O2 has continued its relationship with music pioneer MelodyVR to further explore the possibilities of 5G and targeted customer journeys in this space."

Maybe having good-quality livestreams of gigs will stop people holding their iPads up and blocking the stage to share the action with their friends? Nah, that'll never happen.

O2 is particularly interested in 5G's effects on live entertainment because of its partnerships with gig venues: The O2 (formerly the Millennium Dome) in Greenwich and the O2 Academy venues across the country.

They're also excited about the possibilities for sports, as former sponsors of Arsenal FC and long-running sponsors of the England rugby team. The network predicts that a whopping 78 per cent of people's spending on live entertainment will come from 5G sports experiences, particularly during events like the Olympics.

O2 launched its 5G network last October, and added more sites at the end of 2019. The UK's 5G rollout is continuing to ramp up, with manufacturers offering more 5G handsets including the new Galaxy S20. So far, though, the public doesn't seem anywhere near as excited as the industry. Will that change if they don't have to queue for a beer? We shall see. [Trusted Reviews]