Advanced Television

Insight: New stadium tech to transform fan experience

April 3, 2019

By Colin Mann

With UK top flight club Tottenham Hotspur set to play for the first time at its new £1 billion stadium this evening, taking on Crystal Palace in the Premier League, communications and media software and services specialist Amdocs has revealed findings which suggest that 5G will transform the sports experience for fans in stadiums.

According to Amdocs, live sport is often tipped as a potential use case of emerging technologies such as 5G and mixed reality, and the high-tech Tottenham Hotspur Stadium puts the club in a good position to capitalise.

The research finds that 76 per cent of network operators in Europe plan to use augmented reality (AR) technology, supported by 5G, to offer richer viewing experiences to fans at sports stadiums. Promising speeds up to tens of times faster and lower latency than 4G, 5G opens up the possibilities for new types of entertainment and in-stadium experiences.

Audiences could, for example, watch instant replays and 360-degree streams or look up player stats via AR and virtual reality (VR) technology, bringing them much closer to the action.

Audiences may not have to wait very long to enjoy enhanced sports fan experiences. More than two-thirds (65 per cent) of European operators claim that upcoming major sports events, such as the 2020 European Championship, are influencing their 5G roll-out timelines. The research also reveals:

  • Nearly a third (29 per cent) of European operators plan commercial 5G launches in conjunction with top sports events
  • 82 per cent of European operators are targeting the Euro 2020 football tournament (June – July 2020) to kick off 5G experiences to the consumer market.
  • 94 per cent of European operators plan to trial 5G within sports and esports venues by the end of 2020.

“It’s essential for operators to find successful use cases for 5G given the investment levels,” notes Gary Miles, CMO, Amdocs. “Amdocs’ research has revealed that major live sports events could hold the key to consumer adoption of 5G. Operators have identified these events as the springboard for rollout of a whole range of new interactive and immersive services. This will give consumers their first real taste of what 5G can deliver and allow operators to showcase the capabilities of their next-generation networks. Expect to see the first of these new services and applications rolled out in conjunction with the 2020 soccer tournaments in Europe, among other big events in the sports calendar. We will also see operators becoming integral to the growth of esports with 5G opening the door to future investment and revenue opportunities.”

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