Can live events benefit from 5G? New challenges launches across Coventry and Midlands to find out

Can live events benefit from 5g?

5PRING, the consortium behind the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerator, has launched a new ‘Live Events’ challenges and is inviting start-ups and SMEs to take part in the challenge to discover 5G-enabled solutions to power recovery in the events sector.

5G is the new generation of wireless technology. 5G is much faster than previous generations of wireless technology and has greater capacity, allowing thousands of devices in a small area to be connected at the same time.
The reduction in latency (the time between instructing a wireless device to perform an action and that action being completed) means 5G is also more responsive. This means gamers will see an end to the slight delays that can occur, when games can take time to reflect what they’re doing on their controller. But the biggest differences go far beyond improving the way we use existing technology like smartphones or games consoles. The connectivity and capacity offered by 5G is opening up the potential for new, innovative services.
5G is already being used and tested across a number of sectors, benefiting people and businesses.
OFCOM 5G explanationFor example, one local council has installed 5G nodes on lamp posts to create a network aimed at helping social care patients. So far it has helped to keep patients and their families connected via virtual reality, as well as enabling biomonitors to detect whether patients are dehydrated. It is also being used to connect video systems that allow pharmacists to remotely check whether patients are taking their medication.
5G is also being used in farming – with one example being autonomous farming machinery. Machines scour the field using a video sensor, and apply fertilisers and pesticides where they’re needed. This helps to save resources and boost efficiency.
5G can also enable manufacturers to use smart machinery, providing and reacting to real-time data to improve efficiency.
Transport networks, local authorities and other public bodies could use it to improve public services like parking, traffic management and street lighting.
It could also bring major changes to healthcare. For example, by enabling technology that allows medical students to practise surgery in a connected, virtual reality environment that reflects a real-life experience – even enabling them to ‘feel’ the surgery they are training to deliver.
One mobile network is currently trialling ‘smart ambulances’ equipped with 5G technology, which will explore how will explore how patients could be treated in an emergency by connecting paramedics with hospital staff.
Source: OFCOM

The connectivity offered by 5G also allows existing applications to be carried out more quickly and dependably.

As part of the programme market leading organisations, the NEC Group, The O2 (owned and operated by AEG Worldwide), Coventry Transport Museum and the Herbert Museum, also in Coventry have set a series of challenges for start-ups and SMEs to solve, using 5G-enabled solutions to power recovery in the sector.

Each supporting organisation has contributed its own specific challenges to the open call, which offers disruptive and innovative companies working in the events sector the opportunity to put forward 5G-enabled solutions.

Successful applicants will receive access to cutting edge technology via a private 5G network, a tailored acceleration programme, as well as coaching, mentoring and expertise provided by experts from the supporting organisations, and 5PRING consortium members O2, Deloitte, Wayra and Digital Catapult.

The Live Events challenge will provide start-ups and other small businesses with support in developing and scaling innovations which harness the power of 5G to enhance and encourage sector growth.

The challenge will provide entrants with opportunities to undertake transformative use cases and explore innovative solutions from across the events industry, covering topics including: Audience Experience, Venue Management, Improving Interactivity of Exhibits and other use cases

Applicants with 5G-enabled solutions which leverage augmented reality, computer vision, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics, area encouraged to apply.  

The full list of the Live Event challenge areas, market leading challenge owners and specific 5G-enabled solutions can be found on the 5PRING application page

James Hunter-Jackson, CIO, NEC Group said: “We’re exceedingly pleased to be a part of the latest 5PRING challenge. As the UKs leading live events business, we are continually looking for ways to drive the events industry forward through innovation and data. We have invested heavily in powerful technology that boosts our competitive advantage and helps us to excel in demanding markets, including live events and broadcast.

“From experience, we already know the benefits of marrying our size and expertise with the innovation and disruptive thinking of smaller companies and start-ups, so we’re delighted to be part of the Live Events challenge, supporting organisations to develop new and exciting solutions.

“Creative 5G-powered solutions have the potential to play a role in the recovery of the events sector following the pandemic, and I look forward to seeing what new ideas are generated.”

Last year, West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and collaborators O2, Deloitte, Digital Catapult and Wayra announced the launch of the UK’s first commercial accelerators – 5PRING – to develop the first region-wide 5G testbed.

Robert Franks, Managing Director at WM5G, said: “The vast majority of marketers within the tech industry believe that in-person events have a major impact on achieving company goals and that almost all event professionals (97%) use agenda features in their event apps.[1]

“Participants to this open call are being asked to consider a wide range of different challenges and obstacles in the events sector, including how we use technology to manage both the operations and customer experience at future live events.

“The guidance and expert advice that our 5PRING teams can provide both virtually and through our dedicated Accelerator hubs in Coventry, Wolverhampton and Birmingham are leading the way.”

“We are hoping to capture some truly fantastic, innovative solutions from small businesses that may not otherwise have access to this kind of audience. We’re excited to see what solutions are provoked by our challenges and we’d really urge innovators to apply to the programme.”

Applications for the accelerator are now open and should be submitted here by midnight on Friday 12th November 2021. Successful applicants will start working with 5PRING from Tuesday 4th January 2022.

 A series of engagement events will run throughout the 5PRING programme. For more information, visit: