Stand-alone 5G network at MotoGP
September 2, 2021
By Colin Mann
A collaboration between BT Sport, Dorna, Vislink, the University of Strathclyde and MotoGP has showcased the world’s first stand-alone private 5G network for sports broadcasting. Live pictures were broadcast to a worldwide audience from a 5G handheld camera which was on the grid before each race at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix at Silverstone on August 29th. An onboard 5G camera also beamed back pictures from a test bike.
Vislink supplied two brand–new products for this trial. The first is a 5G version of its tried and tested H-cam handheld wireless camera transmitter, the second is a brand new 5G bike onboard transmitter that has been fitted to the media bike to bring live high-speed images from the heart of the action.
These were connected to a private standalone software-defined 5G network provided by the University of Strathclyde that covered the pitlane, paddock and part of the circuit. These pictures were then supplied to the [rightsholder] Dorna production team producing the International Production Feed (IPF) which is then shared with rightsholders including BT Sport. BT Sport used the feed and cut it up live at the appropriate times to help tell the stories of the day within their broadcast.
“This was an exciting and successful collaboration between partners showcasing the power of a standalone 5G network to enhance sports production,” declared Andy Beale, Chief Engineer BT Sport.
“We would also like to acknowledge the collaboration with Qualcomm in helping us achieve our joint goal,” added Mickey Miller, Vislink CEO.