Consumers’ first 5G experience likely to be at sports events | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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The likely roadmap of 5G rollout is sketchy according to individual territories but research commissioned by enterprise software and services firm Amdocs has identified sports arenas as the most likely place people will first encounter the next generation network.
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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. It is also forecast to improve mobile TV and video quality and increase the range of mobile content such as high-quality above-HD quality TV or 360-degree video stream available to audiences, across a range of consumer devices.

The Amdocs research conducted by Ovum surveyed C-level executives from the world’s 100 largest operators, including operators in Europe. More than 40% of these (41%) also intend to own a sports team in the 5G era as they look to expand their involvement in the sports ecosystem. This is likely to result in growing investments in 5G connectivity and services at stadiums and large venues.

The data found nearly a third (29%) of European operators plan commercial 5G launches in conjunction with top sports events and just over three-quarters of network operators in Europe plan to offer augmented reality (AR) services over 5G in support of sports events, to offer richer viewing experiences to fans, both at the sports stadiums and at home. In addition, more than four-fifths of European operators were planning to offer new multiscreen pay-TV (88%) and 82% plan on offering subscription internet video streaming services.

As ever, the landmark sporting events are seen as key to produce a spike in 5G uptake. Amdocs found that More than two-thirds (65%) 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 revealed that 82% of European operators are targeting the Euro 2020 football tournament running from June–July 2020 to kick-off 5G experiences to the consumer market while virtually all (94%) of European operators plan to trial 5G within sports and esports venues by the end of 2020.

To ensure widespread adoption of this new network technology, 41% of European operators said they were prepared to subsidise 5G-enabled smartphones and more than a third (35%) said they would subsidise 5G-enabled tablets and AR headsets.

“It’s essential for operators to find successful use cases for 5G given the investment levels. Amdocs’ research has revealed that major live sports events could hold the key to consumer adoption of 5G,” said Amdocs chief marketing officer Gary Miles.

“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.”

5G is not just a new wireless technology from a network equipment provider, it’s a fundamental transformation of mobile networks, infrastructure and business models. It will drive the creation of new applications and services, which in turn will require new operating and business models, force changes across operator technology setups and emphasising the need to integrate the new with the old,” added Ed Barton, chief analyst, consumer and entertainment at Ovum. “Our discussions with the world’s leading operators prove that it’s already a challenging journey. The industry has two years or less to get it right if it is to hit the ground running.”