World News

The Super Bowl and 5G

For the first time in Super Bowl history, the stadium and most of the city around have been outfitted with 5G technology. 5G is the next-generation wireless technology that will create changes and opportunities in industries. 

In the professional sports world, 5G is expected to help leagues and teams attract more fans to buy tickets for live games and give them several ways to engage fans even if they are watching from home. 

The applications for 5G in Miami were relatively limited due to the technology still being new. The league is still trying to figure out how to make the most out of it and fans are only able to connect to a 5G network if they have a 5G-enabled device, which is not common. 

Nonetheless, the NFL and Verizon (VZ), partners with the league to install the network, gained valuable experience from the game. It gave them a better idea of the potential for new fan experiences, revenue streams, and operational efficiency 5G could bring. Furthermore, they were able to promote the technology and thus excite fans about the future between the sport and 5G. 

The Super Bowl stadium is the perfect place to test 5G as it will make a major difference.

With 4G, when large crowds are present, the network gets congested and wireless speeds suffer. However, 5G is expected to be about 100 times faster than the existing 4G network, and be able to handle hundreds more connected devices without slowing down.

Verizon stated that fans with 5G-enabled devices at the Super Bowl were able to experience download speeds of up to one gigabit per second. This means that they were able to have an easier time posting on social media, a necessary user-generated promotion that could help bring more fans to live games in the future. 

The league also added a new feature on the NFL’s fan engagement app, OnePass, that allows people with 5G devices connected to the stadium’s network to watch a multi-camera live stream of the game. This feature lets them watch from five different angles, so their view is not limited. It also allows them to pause and rewind the game, so they don’t have to wait for the replay on the big screen. 

For this to work, hundreds of cell boxes need to be placed in a small area because 5G signals don’t travel very far and struggle to move through hard surfaces. Verizon invested $80 million to build the 5G network in the stadium and around Miami and to improve its 4G network so that fans without 5G devices could experience improved network connection. 

5G is also expected to greatly improve streaming and live gaming, meaning leagues will be able to better reach fans even if they are supporting their team from home.

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