The first 5G experience of Indian consumers likely be at a sports event

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New Delhi: All network operators in India plan to offer augmented reality services over 5G in support of sports events, bringing fans closer to the action,according to a research commissioned by software and services provider Amdocs.

5G will transform the sports experience for Indian fans in stadiums and at home, according to research conducted by Ovum for Amdocs, the study said.

Around 75 er cent of Indian network operators taking part in the study plan to use virtual reality (VR) and all of them 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 per cent 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 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, the study said.

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.

In terms of key opportunities associated with supporting sports and esports, 75 per cent of the respondents see subscriber acquisition as the top opportunity followed by increased loyalty and then proving 5G use cases and benefits.

Consumers wanting to take advantage of 5G will need devices that support 5G. To ensure widespread adoption of this new network technology, all Indian operators said they were prepared to subsidize 5G-enabled laptops and 75 per cent said they would subsidize 5G-enabled smartphones and tablets.

“It’s essential for operators to find successful use cases for 5G given the investment levels,” said Gary Miles, Chief Marketing Officer at Amdocs.

Amdocs’ research has revealed that operators see major live sports events as an ideal platform for demonstrating 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.

“We will also see operators becoming integral to the growth of esports with 5G opening the door to future investment and revenue opportunities,” Miles said.

Ed Barton, Chief Analyst, Consumer and Entertainment at Ovum added: “5G is not just a new wireless technology from a network equipment provider, it’s a fundamental transformation of mobile networks, infrastructure and business models. It will drive the creation of new applications and services, which in turn will require new operating and business models, force changes across operator technology setups and emphasizing the need to integrate the new with the old.”
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