Sports fans will enjoy new, richer viewing experiences as a result of the rollout of 5G, according to new research by Ovum for Amdocs. Research findings suggest sports may be the first introduction to a 5G experience for many and could be a key driver for consumer adoption of 5G.

According to Ovum’s survey of the largest network operators, almost one-in-three (63%) expect to employ augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) or a hybrid of these technologies, which will be supported by 5G, to provide enhanced viewing experiences for fans at sports stadiums and watching at home.

The richer viewing will be possible because 5G promises speed up to tens of times faster than 4G as well as lower latency. This could enable audiences to watch instant replays and 360-degree streams or look up player stats, bringing them much closer to the action.

Ovum also expects the 5G technology will transform the at-home viewing experience of sports events. More than four-in-five operators (81%) expect to offer new multi-screen Pay-TV and subscription internet video streaming services. The enhanced speed and lower latency of 5G will improve mobile TV and video quality and increase the range of mobile content available to audiences, across a range of consumer devices and services.

More than a third (37%) of the world’s largest network operators also plan to own a sports team in an attempt to expand their involvement in the sports ecosystem. This is likely to result in growing investments in 5G connectivity and services at stadiums and large venues.

“It’s essential for operators to find successful use cases for 5G given the investment levels. Amdocs’ research has revealed that major live sports events could hold the key to consumer adoption of 5G,” said Gary Miles, Amdocs chief marketing officer, in a prepared statement. “Operators have identified these events as the springboard for rollout of a whole range of new interactive and immersive services. This will give consumers their first real taste of what 5G can deliver and allow operators to showcase the capabilities of their next-generation networks.”

Image courtesy of flickr user Maurizio Pescel.

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