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5G is going to make Brits’ favourite pastime a thing of the past, according to O2

5G could make queuing at the pub a thing of the past, according to fresh research from network provider O2.

O2 reported that the new networking tech will radically change retail and live event experiences in a new 5th Generation Entertainment research paper it published in partnership with analyst house Ovum on Wednesday.

The paper includes a lot of technical chat about augmented reality shopping and entertainment experiences. But, for those in blighty, the most interesting insight will be that 5G “could” make basic things, like waiting for drinks, a distant memory.

“Queuing for drinks at the bar could too 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,” explained the release.

Related: What is 5G?

Sports and live music were two other areas the research highlighted as being key beneficiaries of 5G, with the network having the bandwidth to offer things like virtual reality live streams.

Senior-Vice President of IT at AEG – the owners of The O2 – David Jones said the company is already using the new networking tech to improve venue’s services and live events.

“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,” he said.

“The O2 is at the forefront of O2’s 5G rollout in the UK, and I’m eager to see how the creative people who produce the hundreds of events each year at The O2 will embrace 5G and the technologies it enables, and use it to deliver fun and engaging experiences for fans.”

Sounds exciting? It should, but don’t get too worked up yet. 5G is a very young technology that only started rolling out in the UK last year. It’s currently only available in specific areas of certain cities, like The O2 and Waterloo Station in London.

Related: Best 5G phones

5G contracts are also generally very expensive and the network only runs on a small number of pricey handsets, like the newly launched Galaxy S20. Most industry forecasts suggest it won’t be mainstream until 2022-2025 at the earliest – so it’s fairly likely you’ll have to wait in line at the pub for a wee while longer.

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