5G ‘glory’ for ‘The Glorious One’

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Video: NOS (YouTube)

The top flight Portuguese football club Sport Lisboa e Benfica and NOS announced recently that the club’s residence has become the first one armed with 5G in Portugal.

‘SL Benfica’ stated that Sport Lisboa e Benfica worked with mobile communications partner NOS (the best communication and entertainment group in Portugal) to guarantee the former’s famous stadium – Estádio Sport Lisboa e Benfica – has been equipped with a fifth-generation coverage plan, which will allow fans to take advantage of the innovative features provided by this futuristic technology.

Sport Lisboa e Benfica ComC MHIH OM, commonly known as Benfica, is a professional football club based in Lisbon, Portugal, that competes in the Primeira Liga, the top flight of Portuguese football.

The 65,647-capacity Estádio da Luz, officially named Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, is a multipurpose stadium located in Lisbon, Portugal. It is used mostly for association football matches, hosting the home games of Portuguese club S.L. Benfica, its owner.

The 5G network will facilitate more than 65,000 fans at the Sport Lisboa e Benfica stadium to experience mobile Internet access that is, on an average, 10 times faster than usual, with speeds of over 1 Gbps. This means that, even when the facility is full house, supporters can download and upload images and videos pronto. Fans can also look forward to having video calls without any buffering issues.

‘SL Benfica’ further stated that when supporters are allowed back into the Estádio Da Luz fold, this technological innovation will bring about a sea change in the experience of those watching Benfica matches. The club’s supporters will now have access to immersive content, provided by the combination of 5G and technologies such as virtual or augmented reality. Access to game or player statistics in real time, the possibility to choose the angle from which to watch the game, activating in real time one of the many cameras used in the transmission, or the possibility to transmit live video, in high quality and definition, are some of the countless innovations that football lovers will be able to experience in Portugal’s first 5G stadium.

Manuel Ramalho Eanes, Executive Director, NOS, declared, “This is a technological milestone of enormous relevance for NOS, both for building our leadership path in 5G and for the transformation of the Sport Lisboa e Benfica Stadium into a highly digital and intelligent sports venue, unique in Portugal. When 5G is a reality, we want to be the first to deliver it to people and businesses. Football is a natural territory for the technology to develop, and so this partnership with Benfica makes perfect sense.”

Rui Costa, Vice-President of Sport, Lisboa e Benfica, maintained, “Sport Lisboa e Benfica is a club where innovation is at the heart of its strategy and being the first 5G stadium is a source of price. This is a game-changing project. We are constantly striving to build deeper connections with our loyal fan base, and this new technology will bring Benfica even closer to its fans and supporters. It means an improved experience in this stadium, for all our supporters and for Benfica as an organization.”

Besides the huge revolution in terms of experience for the fans, the NOS 5G network will have a direct impact on Benfica’s operation, allowing optimization of communication between technical teams, accurate assessment of the players’ performance and access to realtime statistics and tactical analysis. At the same time, it will also benefit all the commercial services and entities associated with the club, such as television broadcasts, restaurant services or ATMs.

5G in the Estádio da Luz is powered by a system of 5G antennas in each of the stands, which ensures full coverage of the public areas, and is complemented by a system of 5G cells to ensure VIP areas of the stadium, such as the Press Center, the Presidential Box or the NOS Box.

A team of more than 20 professionals and over six months’ work made the whole project possible. The synergy between Benfica and NOS opens the way to an era of great ambition and innovation in football, with 5G mobilizing an entertainment experience never experienced before.

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