Your Reading List & recommendations

Augmented reality: How 5G will transform live experiences

We predict £2.3 billion boost to entertainment sector by 2030.

With the 5G rollout firmly underway, we are seeing for the first time a network which will be transformational for businesses. But we don’t just mean business in terms of manufacturing and industry. In fact, 5G can change the way businesses of all sizes, and in all sectors operate, and open up new ways to serve customers and enable people to work.

For example, we took a sector that’s been integral to our culture and heritage for more than 20 years – the live entertainment industry – and considered the impact that 5G connectivity could have. The result is 5th Generation Entertainment, a new piece of research conducted by O2 and Ovum, the data and insights consultancy.

It explores how 5G might boost entertainment businesses by improving customer experiences before, during and after events – exploiting 5G’s faster connectivity using technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The results are astonishing, with the potential for 5G to grow the sector by as much as £2.3 billion in just ten years.

Here are just five ways that 5G could transform live entertainment:

  1. Smart ticketing and connected venues will cut down queues and offer fans the chance to access and enjoy activities ahead of the show.
  2. Queuing up at the bar will become a thing of the past, thanks to low-latency order-in-advance systems.
  3. Greater speeds and more capacity will empower fans to share their experiences live with friends, increasing WOM.
  4. Fans paying to live stream gigs from any location, personalising their experience by choosing from multiple camera angles or opting to focus on a specific player at a match or band member at a gig.
  5. Advertisers benefiting from live event advertising, pinpointing highly personalised and segmented target audiences i.e. people who choose ‘drummer cam’ can be targeted with drumming equipment.

5G has the power to transform the way entertainment is broadcast as well. Through our partnership with ITV, we’re exploring the future of broadcasting using seamlessly connected HD cameras, sharing more content over superfast and higher capacity networks, increasing flexibility with wireless technology.

Together, we produced the world’s first live TV advert powered by 5G.

Did you see it? Here’s the story behind it:


Nina Bibby, Chief Marketing Officer at O2, said: “5G will transform how customers experience mobile, and we’re really excited by what it can do for live entertainment given it’s always been a huge part of our heritage. Whether you are one of 82,000 fans looking to buy a drink at Twickenham or you’re trying to find your friends at The O2, 5G-enabled technology can seamlessly manage these problems.”

David Jones, Senior-Vice President of IT at AEG – owners of The O2 – said: “I’m excited by the possibilities that 5G offers to enhance the live entertainment experience for the millions of fans who come to see their favourite acts and athletes at The O2 each year. In particular, augmented reality and virtual reality technology is bandwidth-intensive, ultra-mobile, and very sensitive to latency, and 5G has been designed to address those requirements from the ground up.”

What will 5G mean for your sector?

Exciting as the possibilities for 5G are for live entertainment, these are just applications for a single sector. What will 5G mean for your business and the sector that you serve? As 5G evolves, it will bring new capabilities, new business models, and more efficient ways of working to businesses of all sizes, in every sector.

So to see what’s possible and understand what 5G and Augmented Reality are already delivering today, our free 5G ebook and white paper will help you.


All articles


Public sector

Safe & secure


Tech advice

Work smarter