5G technology will be watershed moment for sports industry



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Wasps Rugby Ricoh Arena Image: Wasps Rugby

Leading-edge technology is not changing the way live sporting events are held but is also transforming the society. Wasps Rugby Football Club in Coventry, England, has unveiled an innovation space that provides digital expertise and resources to local businesses.

The club has partnered with Vodafone to provide businesses in the UK’s West Midlands a platform to enjoy seamless state-of-the-art technologies such as 5G, the internet of things (IOT), and high-speed fiber broadband. It is being offered in the club’s Vodafone Business Lounge at their home ground – Ricoh Arena.

The mobile communications network provider Vodafone has revealed recent research results which show that 5G will have sweeping effect on the sports industry than any other developing technology. The report further revealed that majority of business leaders from sports organizations believe that using cutting-edge technology is the only way to win over fans and delivering new and innovative experiences is key to future success.

Seventy per cent business leaders also feel that 5G will help elevate the fan experience more than 4G. Applications such as live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information will redefine fan experience – both for those at the event or watching elsewhere.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, averred, “Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact. It has the potential to transform the fan experience; change the way sports organizations operate, open up new revenue opportunities; and help athletes improve their fitness and training programs. Our holographic call with Steph Houghton last year was a great example of how technology can be used to bring fans closer to the action and give them experiences that were previously out of reach.”

Along with fan experiences, the key areas of concerns for sports leaders are innovation (30 per cent), player performance (30 per cent) and talent (27 per cent). Seventy-eight per cent believe that the sports sector throws up new ideas while 70 per cent says that the sports sector is lagging behind other industry sectors when it comes to adopting the latest in technology.

Anne added, “It is hugely encouraging that a remarkable 80 per cent of sports organizations believe 5G will underpin how they run their companies. We want to help organizations understand the potential of 5G and benefit from its speed, responsiveness and reliability. We think this technology is a game-changer for businesses, the economy and the UK as a whole.”

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