Spark will switch on 5G at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday, meaning concertgoers with the latest 5G mobile phones will be able to take advantage when they descend on the stadium for the Six60 concert that evening.

It will be the first-ever concert held at Eden Park, known as the home of the Auckland Blues super rugby team.

Spark said it will be the first stadium in the country to get 5G, although only 75% of the venue will be covered. The telco hopes it will go some way to help the large crowd to remain connected online. 

It is also set to benefit people attending sports events at the famous ground going forward. 

5G’s capacity gains mean it can handle more people being connected in one location compared to 4G, but the proliferation of 5G handsets is still quite low.

Apple’s latest iPhone 12 range has 5G compatibility, but people also need to pay for expensive 5G connections.

“One of the key differences between 4G and 5G is its ability to enable mass connectivity,” said Mark Beder, Spark’s technology director.

“In the future, 5G will completely transform the way we experience live events. This could be anything from using virtual reality to provide fans with front-row concert experiences from their couch, improving in-person experiences with augmented reality, or reducing the time waiting in a queue for drinks and food with artificial intelligence self-service checkouts.”

As for Saturday, it might help more people post to Instagram rather than be unable to get a connection on the packed network as thousands of others try to do the same.