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Could 5G revolutionise the sports industry?

By Tom Walker    09 Oct 2019
The research coincided with the opening of an innovation hub, giving sports businesses an opportunity to experience the latest technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed fibre
Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact
– Anne Sheehan

Sports business leaders in the UK believe that the advent of 5G is likely to drive change and create new experiences in the sports sector – more than any other technology currently in the pipeline.

Research by independent consultancy Censuswide – on behalf of mobile tech giant Vodafone – reveals that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of business leaders from sports organisations said their organisation will use 5G as a platform for innovation.

The same proportion believes that 5G will enable them to improve fan engagement with applications such as live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information – reinventing the fan experience both for those at the event or watching elsewhere.

In total 74 per cent believe 5G – the next generation of high-capacity digital cellular networks – will underpin efforts to meet rising fan expectations.

The research sought the views of 250 business decision-makers in the sports sector across the UK.

Findings also showed that, alongside fan experiences, sports leaders expect 5G to be used in areas if innovation (30 per cent), player performance (30 per cent) and talent development (27 per cent).

"Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact," said Anne Sheehan, director, Vodafone Business UK.

"It has the potential to transform the fan experience; change the way sports organisations operate, open up new revenue opportunities; and help athletes improve their fitness and training programmes.

“It is hugely encouraging that 80 per cent of sports organisations believe 5G will underpin how they run their companies."

The research was released to coincide with the opening of the Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena, home of Wasps Rugby and Netball Club’s in Coventry. The lounge has been designed as an innovation space to give sports businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise and an opportunity to experience the latest technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed fibre.

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