5G, a threat to many, an opportunity for sport
This media is no longer available The promise of 5G: a consequent acceleration of data rates, a reduction in latency and a disengagement of dense areas. Concretely, to be even more connected…
The promise of 5G: a consequent acceleration of data rates, a reduction in latency and a disengagement of dense areas. In concrete terms, being even more connected without almost any technical worries and taking advantage of new digital services. And if your phone was not already your best friend, it should become so with the deployment of 5G on French territory from the end of 2020. Despite the mistrust and mobilizations of some environmental politicians and NGOs, 5G should take off in France following the trend of many other countries, and should benefit the development of operator offers and allow the sports world to offer more and more immersive fan experiences. Initiatives around 5G are already all the rage in the sports world.
The auction for 5G frequencies will bring 2.786 billion euros to the French state. They started on Tuesday morning and ended on Thursday evening with the Orange operator as the big winner. Despite the protests of environmental associations and some politicians, the auction has come to a successful conclusion under the auspices of ARCEP for a deployment that would start at the end of 2020 in cities that have already started installing the new antennas. With an effective mesh of these antennas, it will be possible to capture without the slightest problem in a football stadium, a concert hall or a crowded place, places where 4G waves pass poorly. The benefits of 5G are not only for the benefit of the public but also for companies that aspire to put this technology at the center of their development through the possibility of multiplying connected services. If the first generation of mobile telephony made it possible to make calls, the 2nd to add text, the 3rd to send images and the 4th to increase the mobile Internet and develop video content, 5G must bring a new technological and digital “revolution”, accelerating speeds and connecting everything that is not yet currently as factories or transport. And the financial outlook looks important…
If 5G is making news in France, it has already conquered several countries such as South Korea, which was the first in the world to market 5G or the State of San Marino, the first in Europe. This new technology has therefore already been used for several months in many countries and especially in the sports world. The first notable example is the PyeongChang Olympic Games in Korea in 2018 where it was possible to experiment with new services around 5G thanks to Korean SK Telecom, one of the most innovative operators in the world. It was possible to test 5G thanks to various demonstrations such as the use of virtual reality glasses on a bus traveling in Korea but which allows you to find yourself in real time and with a 3D vision, in a square of Oulu in Finland, thousands of kilometers away.
More recently, it was the Allianz Arena where FC Bayern Munich plays that was the scene of specific 5G upgrades carried out in May 2020. Because the stadium is no longer just an event venue but a fully connected information platform. Deutsche Telekom and FC Bayern Munich have invested in this technology to give its fans a different match experience. With eleven 5G antennas and 40 LTE antennas in the stadium, the interior and surroundings of the stadium enjoys excellent 5G coverage and state-of-the-art technology to be a pioneer in technical innovations. If the main communications of the German operator are based on technical data such as network speed, it is the potential 75,000 spectators of the Bavarian club who are targeted with marketing and service offers that will develop. With FC Bayern having played their home games behind closed doors since the start of the season, the experiments in the direction of the fans have not yet been deployed. But FC Bayern Munich also plans to use it to deploy IoT, Internet of Things, throughout the stadium to improve operational performance and efficiency such as crowd management, bandwidth management and infrastructure management, with the help of mobile applications that could direct participants to the nearest parking space, the nearest front door and the least crowded toilets or stand.
5G will transform the experience of the event in the stadium but also the sport on real screens. Esports, at first, also benefits enormously from this technological advance. In Spain, Telefonica – Spanish telephone operator – and Movistar Riders – Spanish esports team – presented at MWC Barcelona, one of the largest fairs in the mobile phone industry, the first demonstration in Europe of what 5G can bring to esports. The professional team of Movistar Riders Call of Duty used game consoles and a 5G router connected to the Internet via a 5G mobile network. The choice of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was strategic because in this shooter, low latency is the key to success.
Viewers will be able to enjoy the benefits of 5G from home for the production of events. Different network slices will be reserved to provide the real-time connectivity necessary for TV8K broadcast, data-intensive and to operate safely camera drones in crowded stadiums where security is a major concern. The multiplication of cameras and shots in the stadiums will allow each spectator to feel like at the stadium and benefit from a personalized sound perfectly adapted to his hearing and his choice of position.
Although the 5G network is not yet deployed in France, Orange has chosen Roland Garros to carry out three innovative demonstrations around this new technology. Visitors, general public and professionals will be able to dive into the heart of the Cours Philippe-Chatrier, from the Orange stand in the bays. Thanks to the OPPO 5G smartphones connected to the 5G network deployed for the occasion, visitors can watch the matches of the central course, live as in replay, and be as close to the action as possible thanks to the wide choice of viewing angles offered and served by a high-definition video transmission: zoom, slow down, analyze, choose viewing angles so as not to miss anything of the best actions. Visitors can also immerse themselves in an immersive 360 ° video experience to follow matches on Court Suzanne-Lenglen thanks to 8K cameras placed at the edge of the course: view and move 360 ° in the video. In addition, France Télévisions will also take advantage of these same video streams to generate HD videos and produce content for their programs. During the tournament, the France Télévisions teams conduct interviews captured in 5G which is based on an ultra mobile capture device, based on a professional HD quality camera combined with an encoder integrating a 5G modem compatible with the Orange 5G network.
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Although maligned, 5G technology will make its way into the daily lives of the French with important technological advantages such as smoother access to mobility services and richer immersive experiences on a daily basis, for training, work or entertainment. It will offer new uses in sports and cultural leisure to experience events in total immersion, from the lawn, in the stands of the stadium or from home thanks to real-time data transmission, the routing of 360 ° video streams in virtual, augmented or mixed reality as well as differentiated audio and video streams. It presents an opportunity to offer new content and services as well as personalized experiences for the benefit of the viewer, the viewer and the fan.
With the winning of the 5G auctions and the announcement of its partnership with Paris 2024, Orange is positioning itself as the major player in the making on innovations related to 5G and the development of new uses. With this first experiment at Roland Garros, we can expect Orange to make the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, its showcase of new digital uses in the world of sport.