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5G revolution: a game changer in redefining the viewer experience

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The race is on for major sporting events! Whether in the Americas or in Europe, football fans are already rejoicing in the excitement of the world's premier championships. 2024 is set to be an action-packed year of thrilling sports events and entertainment. But how does all of this tie into connectivity?

Head of Marketing and Communications, Ericsson, Southern Cone of Latin America

5G revolution: a game changer in redefining the viewer experience

Head of Marketing and Communications, Ericsson, Southern Cone of Latin America

Head of Marketing and Communications, Ericsson, Southern Cone of Latin America

Sporting events captivate millions of people worldwide, and fans are always looking for new ways to experience them. Today, 5G is a fundamental ally to improve the experience of entertainment lovers, an industry that recorded total global revenues of 2.32 trillion dollars in 2022.

Despite the growing interest in this sector, attendees often experience poor connectivity due to higher than usual density of subscribers saturating the networks. As a result, major operators are now focusing their attention on these events by leveraging 5G to offer a unique and differentiated user experience, while opening new monetization avenues.

By establishing infrastructure tailored exclusively for large events, it is possible to deliver a positive connectivity experience for both on-site attendees and cameraperson teams responsible for transmitting massive amounts of data in real-time. This advanced connectivity is made possible through cutting-edge technologies, including 5G network slicing and a combination of equipment designed to 'boost' data transmission in specific locations.

Undoubtedly, the ecosystem is ready, and the challenge is clear: what bold steps will telcos take to pioneer the launch of a cutting-edge 5G service, securing their position as market leaders? The time has come to shape the future of telecommunications and redefine the way we experience live events.

Connecting Emotions through 5G

For instance, the Formula 1 Grand Prix 2023 in Mexico City, an event that generated an economic revenue of over 800 million dollars, registered a total data traffic of more than 117 Terabytes. Just to imagine the magnitude, 1TB of data represents about 200 thousand photos or 400 hours of video moving across the network.

During the event, 5G accounted for approximately 40% of the total mobile data traffic recorded at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Similarly, this year 78 thousand users connected to 5G during the Mexican Grand Prix, 28 thousand more than in 2022.

Also in this edition, which again broke its attendance record by adding more than 400 thousand fans, an improvement in download speeds was observed, for example, those who connected to 5G during the race benefited from the average download speeds of 274 Megabits per second of these networks. Overall, positive indicators were detected showing that 5G has arrived to improve the experiences of Mexican users.

In a similar case in Brazil, as a result of the partnership with the main operators , live TV broadcasting was revolutionized during the São Paulo Grand Prix, held last November. On that occasion, the solution created an innovative experience, leveraging 5G capabilities.

This collaborative effort marked a technological milestone for future events by offering dedicated 5G network slicing for live TV broadcasting, which facilitated the use of 10 dedicated cameras connected to 5G. Cinematographers equipped with 5G handheld cameras captured dynamic images of the race, delivering real-time content to media and broadcasters with exceptional connectivity, free from the limitations of cable.

The numbers recorded during the experiment confirm its success. The event recorded over 95 thousand daily connected users, underscoring the widespread adoption of the innovative 5G infrastructure. In addition, 5G users experienced an impressive five times higher data consumption compared to their 4G counterparts, indicating the efficiency of the transmission.

Paving the Way Forward

If operators want to take advantage of the potential of 5G networks in entertainment, they can create 5G offerings that allow the user to find added value to the experience, to the point where they are even willing to pay more for that service. For example, 51% of people are interested in reviewing match or sports race statistics in real time while watching a live event, according to Nielsen Sports, and with 5G and augmented reality this could become a potential business case.

On the other hand, for telcos, the growth potential is obvious when end consumers can experience 5G use cases. In fact, users are willing to pay up to 11% more for higher network performance or quality of service offerings, according to a study by Ericsson ConsumerLab.

For consumers, the benefit is clear and powerful: they have the opportunity to take control, to be the directors of their own experiences, and to do so with complete confidence in the quality of the service.

The pioneering use of 5G in live sports broadcasts has undoubtedly set a precedent for the immersive experience that can be delivered to attendees and the standard in connectivity that they will now be expecting.

It is time for operators to take this entertainment opportunity and position themselves as innovative companies that offer disruptive services to their users, while demonstrating the value of 5G and driving the development of the fifth generation and increasingly revolutionary on-site and remote experiences.

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