The Advent of 5G and What It Means for Events
5G Cell phone tower
  • by Seth Burstein
  • Aug 29, 2019
  • 5G

5G, the new kid on the block, promises to transform Internet connectivity as we know it. While the network is still in its nascent stages and 4G will continue to be around for a long while, now is the time to explore the countless possibilities that 5G connectivity can make into reality.

Among the most exciting possibilities is the positive impact that 5G will have on those attending and engaging with events and brands, both online and on-site. On the event managers’ side, 5G will also allow for the setup and delivery of Internet-based productions in less time than ever.

How is 5G different from past technologies?

Although it sounds like an evolved version of 4G/LTE cellular technology, 5G is light-years ahead of previous tech. In fact, it’s a completely new technology, built from scratch, that’s capable of supporting advanced applications. Some oft-cited examples are self-driven cars, the Internet of things and connected machines.

 How will the mobile Internet experience change with the introduction of 5G?

5G’s massive improvements over current mobile Internet connectivity will result in:

  • Faster speeds - The most pronounced benefit of 5G Internet is its significantly faster network speeds compared to 4G. While the exact speed will depend on a range of factors, the minimum 5G speed is expected to be equivalent to the maximum 4G speed. The highest speeds could be 10x to 100x those of previous
  • Lower latency - Latency refers to the time it takes for information sent into the digital world to receive a response (for example, the time between the initiation of an online transaction and the delivery of the ‘payment completed’ notification). This speed is expected to be 40x faster with 5G.
  • Worry-free simultaneous connections - Network lag as a result of multiple devices connected to the same WiFi hotspot will no longer be an issue with 5G. This means more devices can connect to a network at the same time without having to compromise on network speed and performance. Even with devices using more bandwidth for live-streaming across applications, there will be nearly no connectivity issues during peak usage.

How can 5G benefit Internet connectivity at events?

The integration of the 5G network will make it possible for businesses to offer attendees a unique, immersive, and highly engaging event experience. Nearly any high-value online experience you can dream up can be brought to life at an event venue with 5G coverage.

Some of the most exciting possibilities for events are:

  • Video streaming with zero lag - With 5G’s vastly increased Internet speeds, live video streaming will become much more efficient, and broadcast lag will be non-existent. This means viewers watching an event on their screens at home will see everything at the same time as the audience at the venue.
  • More personalized guest experiences - High Internet speeds will make it possible to personalize the event experience for each of your guests (such as with custom messages, suggestions and recommendations based on their professions and preferences). There are already some popular apps on the market that provide event-goers with tailor-made experiences based on the events they’ve attended in the past, their recorded activities and their GPS data.
  • Faster transactions - Higher speeds also translate to faster online transactions, meaning better service, quicker delivery and happier guests.
  • Better app-based interactions - Better connectivity and faster transactions will result in a seamless user experience for the guests who use your app or website for registration, ticketing, video viewing, check-ins, mapping and anything interactive at your event.
  • Integration of augmented reality - Augmented reality (AR) will bring event immersion to a whole new level. Audi used it to give auto enthusiasts a feel for their new model while saving transportation and organization expenses, for example. You might also use AR to tap into user-generated content and increase the shelf life of your event as the Catalyst VRs Fan Cam does by allowing sports fans to make and share content from the event that provides entertainment for a long time after the event ends.
  • Decreased cost of production - In addition to the benefits listed above, the new 5G network will result in an overall decrease in the production investment required to deliver these heightened event The equipment and setup will likewise be significantly lot more compact, unlike the satellite trucks, point to point radios, and other cumbersome materials necessary for Internet setup in the past.

There it is, a quick look at what to expect in the near future with 5G. While we can't state precisely when the full force of 5G's abilities will come into play on a national level, a few cities are already equipped for the new network, and more are on their way. Granted, 5G won’t be a panacea for event connectivity, but in certain situations, it will provide a reliable, easy to use, and cost-effective solution. Businesses can look forward to big changes and new experiences in the events industry soon.