According to research commissioned by Amdocs, all network operators in India plan to offer augmented reality services over 5G in support of sports events, bringing fans closer to the action
5G will transform the sports experience for Indian fans in stadiums and at home, according to research conducted by Ovum for Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies.
75% of Indian network operators taking part in the study plan to use virtual reality (VR) and all of them (100%) plan to use augmented reality (AR), supported by 5G, to offer richer viewing experiences to fans, both at the sports stadium and watching at home.
Promising speeds up to tens of times faster and lower latency than 4G, 5G opens up the possibilities for new types of entertainment and in-stadium experiences. Audiences could, for example, watch instant replays and 360-degree streams or look up player stats via AR and VR technology, bringing them much closer to the action.
5G will also transform the at-home viewing experience of sports events, with 75% of Indian operators planning to offer new multi-screen Pay-TV services. 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.
The research surveyed C-level executives from the world’s 100 largest operators, including in India. Half (50%) of these, the research revealed, also intend to own a sports team in the 5G era as they look 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.
Audiences may not have to wait very long to experience 5G
Indian fans may not have to wait very long to enjoy enhanced sports fan experiences. Seventy-five percent of Indian operators plan to trial 5G within sports and esports venues by the end of 2020; all plan to launch commercial 5G services by end of 2021.
5G will give esports a digital upgrade
Fans of esports – professional multiplayer video game competitions – will also experience 5G-supported experiences in the near future. All (100%) operators plan to support esports in the 5G era, either as technology partners to esports event organizers (100%), broadcasters of the action (50%) or with far bolder plans of being an OTT video provider.
Another 25% of operators are looking forward to esports team ownership. Esports is growing rapidly in popularity with viewing metrics, prize money and sponsorship all increasing substantially year-on-year and is being considered for entry into the Olympics as a new discipline for Paris 2024.
In terms of key opportunities associated with supporting sports and esports, 75% of the respondents see subscriber acquisition as the top opportunity followed by increased loyalty (50%) and then proving 5G use cases and benefits (75%).