5G To Get Big Push For Live Sports

Consumers are likely to first experience the new 5G speeds at sports events at large arenas.

Network operators are targeting sports arenas for 5G rollouts and the arenas are planning to use the new speeds for better fan experiences.

The majority (87%) of network operators intend to deliver new 5G services to major live sports and esports event organizers, according to a new study. More than half (52%) of operators plan to offer services to improve the fan experience in the arena, such as the ability to order food and beverages via mobile devices.

The study comprised a survey of senior decision-makers at 60 of the world’s largest communications and media companies conducted by Ovum for Amdocs.

By the end of 2020, most (91%) operators expect to have trialed 5G inside their venues and 93% pan to directly support mainstream sports in the 5G era.

The majority (70%) of network operators say sports events have influenced their 5G rollouts.

New consumer-facing services expected to be offered to support live sports events include multiscreen pay TV (83%), virtual reality (63%), augmented/mixed reality (63%) and digital advertising (53%).

However, operators also see some challenges ahead, including lack of consumer interest in 5G use cases (23%), the willingness of 5G companies to collaborate (18%) and lack of appealing 5G devices (15%).

To drive 5G adoption, operators plan to subsidize some devices, including personal hotspot devices (53%), smartphones (43%), tablets (33%), smart VTV devices (28%) and AR headsets (25%).

The new 5G speeds are just around the corner, and the industry deploying those speeds plans to provide a market push.

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