(Sunrise) moment for top-flight club Basel



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Switzerland Basel St Jakob-Park goes 5G Image: Sunrise

It will be 5G, cameras and Camcheck that will power the action for fans of Swiss Super League (top tier of the Swiss football league) Football Club FC Basel at Switzerland’s largest stadium St. Jakob-Park.

The club unfolded detailed plans recently and joined hands with the telecommunications company Sunrise to transform St. Jakob-Park into a smart stadium. 5G-powered cameras will be placed at vantage points so that fans don’t miss out on a second of the adrenaline-charged games.

FC Basel said the initiative will form the basis for further innovations in 2021 with 360 degree live videos and augmented reality applications set to be added into the club app.

FC Basel 1893, widely known as FC Basel or Basel, is a Swiss football club based in Basel, in the Canton of Basel-Stadt (Switzerland). Formed in 1893, the club has been Swiss national champions 20 times, Swiss Cup winners 12 times, and Swiss League Cup winners once.

St. Jakob-Park is a Swiss sports stadium in Basel. It is the largest football venue in Switzerland and home to FC Basel. ‘Joggeli’, as the venue is nicknamed by the locals, was originally built with a capacity of 33,433 seats. Its present capacity stands at 38,512.

Sunrise is the largest non State-controlled telecommunications company in Switzerland, offering mobile, Internet, TV, and landline services to private and business customers. Sunrise offers the biggest and fastest 5G mobile network in Switzerland.

Cut to a setting in the stadium where fan frenzy is peaking, 65 minutes into the game, the score settles at 2:2. The match has slowed, time to take a break. You’ve just reached the washroom and you hear uproar in the stadium. The thought of doing an about turn is shot down the next moment. There just isn’t time enough to do that. The shouts and cheers echo all around you: `Shoot… missed the goal!’ Everyone knows these moments and they can really be frustrating, rightfully so.

But, no longer will fans experience these nail-biting moments at Basel’s home games. Thanks to CamCheck, the first ‘Smart Stadium’ innovation in Swiss football.

FC Basel first teamed up with Sunrise last year and the two parties have now joined forces to deliver the Sunrise CamCheck innovation, which will give fans the opportunity to watch matches via the official club app while they are at the stadium.

Nothing beats the collective emotions which fans experience at a live game in a venue. FC Basel is allowing its fans to savor one-of-a-kind experience with the Sunrise CamCheck at St. Jakob-Park. The best part is that in the FC Basel app, every moment of the game can be followed live from four different camera settings. Thanks to Instant Replay, app users in the stadium can rewind a few minutes or play scenes in slow motion, allowing them to decide which moments they want to watch again. The futuristic technology helps turn one’s own smartphone into a personal control room. The CamCheck is available to all spectators in St. Jakob-Park throughout the entire game.

Frank Schaffner, Director Digital, FC Basel 1893, informed, “FC Basel 1893 fans have a lot to look forward to. The first 5G stadium offers completely new football experiences around the home games of FC Basel 1893. Football remains the focus of attention. But technologies like 5G and IoT (Internet of Things) enable new services with real added value for our fans. The match day experiences in St. Jakob-Park will be unique and more varied. We are working on this together with Sunrise.”

The CamCheck will be available to all spectators in St. Jakob-Park throughout the entire game. And the stadium WiFi and Sunrise’s 5G network will allow Sunrise Camcheck to run smoothly.

Schaffner added, “Our smart stadium partnership with Sunrise will, not least thanks to 5G and IoT, offer stadium spectators a completely new football experience for the home games of FC Basel.”

To top it, 5G indoor coverage will be offered throughout the stadium to provide users with continuous, high-quality connectivity while using mobile phones and other end devices.

After almost 18 months of development work, 3,700 technician hours and a smooth collaborative process, the first of several planned viewer experiences is now ready to digitally enrich the world of sports.

Sunrise Chief Executive Andre Krause remarked, “We are the 5G pioneers in Switzerland and Europe and are proud of our pioneering role. We are pleased to be realizing the first 5G smart stadium in Switzerland together with FC Basel 1893. Thanks to this strong partnership, we can expand the fan experience enormously and the Camcheck is only the first reference for this.”
 

5G power

5G enables ultra-fast connections, huge data volumes, zero delays and the ability to serve a very large number of end devices. Ideal for applications such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) with integrated players and live data displays or live broadcasts of scrimmages without expensive stadium technology. FC Basel 1893’s digital drawer is overflowing with promising plans and ideas. The fulcrum on which rests the CamCheck is the high speed 5G network.
 

Ethereal experience

With the majority of people in Switzerland in possession of a smartphone, a sporting or entertainment event means looking out for unequaled experiences and not the run-of-the-mill kind. In a digitally-driven world, organizers and clubs are increasingly under pressure to serve fans the best of futuristic technology experience. The so-called ‘mixed reality’ or immersive applications, to be used with goggles, tablets or smartphones, are finding their way into major sports stadia in Switzerland.

Fans sitting on wooden benches behind the white line and patting their sporting heroes on their back is a thing of the past. The various football clubs these days try to come out with ingenious ideas in order to earn fans’ loyalty. Basel realized this fact early on and has now implemented the first vision of the ‘Smart Stadium’ partnership. Players and fans are getting even closer – the digital way.

Alexander Lehrmann, Director, New Business Development and IoT, Sunrise Communications AG, stated, “The central finding of our innovation team: A stadium offers incredible potential for data-based applications. This is also becoming increasingly important for sports clubs. We focus on new fan experiences.”
 

Leg-up

One of the largest in-house assets of Basel is the live camera feeds at home games. This creates huge amounts of data that can barely be transmitted with conventional technology. This is an ideal playground for new applications that rely on the best Sunrise network.
 

‘Smart Stadium’

A ‘Smart Stadium’ means one is assured of fan loyalty. For a football club, apart from fan loyalty, keeping the financial wheels well-oiled is also of paramount importance. Therefore, the efficient administration of the stadium is another key to success. Self-maintaining fields, automated ordering processes in catering or camera-controlled security systems are just a few examples of new applications.

‘Smart Stadiums’ are also about food stands using data-based forecast models to not only ensure that food does not go waste, but also increase efficiency through automated supply chains. Beer, bratwurst or personalized merchandising items can be paid for and ready to be picked up at the push of a button, for the ease of spectators.
 

Tech prowess

Technologies such as 5G or the Internet of Things (IoT) prove as catalysts and helps stadium operators and sports clubs to reap rewards. Some approaches are still only visions for the future.

The Internet of things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects or things that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the Internet.

So, welcome to the digital world of St. Jacob Park and catch each reflex of the players with razor-sharp technology which the home of FC Basel will soon boast.

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