It’s official! Verizon will be the official 5G partner for the NFL. Verizon Business Chief Revenue Officer Sampath Sowmyanarayan said that this isn’t your average partnership and instead a technology collaboration. The two companies have worked together for more than 10 years, but it’s always been short-term contracts. This new 10-year deal will help create new 5G use cases through research and development that can impact things favorably for the fan experience, safety, concessions, and crowd management.
Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, which is built on the ever-fast mmWave spectrum, is available in 25 of the 30 NFL stadiums as well as separate deals with 18 NFL teams. The reason Verizon doesn’t have all 30 venues is that some stadiums are privately owned.
The NFL stadiums will be outfitted with Verizon fiber, distributed antenna systems (DAS), and small cell antennas. Verizon is planning on using low band, C-band, and mmWave spectrum to provide 5G coverage.
When Verizon outfitted the Raymond James Stadium with 5G coverage for the 2021 Super Bowl, the company spent over $80 million doing so. Sowmyanarayan said that while every stadium is different, $80 million is a good average of what the upgrades will cost.
One of the favorite use cases for 5G technologies that companies have jumped on is creating an experience where fans can watch the game up to seven different simultaneous camera angles. All fans have to do is download their favorite team’s app!
Another use case would help venue owners gain real-time information on crowd patterns, so they could effectively improve the flow of people in the stadium. This is possible through the use of Lidar technology paired with Verizon 5G Edge.
“The NFL has embraced innovation for decades to bring fans closer to the game from instant replay technology to outfitting players with microphones,” said Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, in a statement. “Our longstanding relationship, and swift delivery of 5G connectivity in 90% of stadiums, has created new ways to bring fans even closer to the action. As we embark on the next 10 years, our work with the NFL will continue to enhance and transform not only the fan viewing experience but also has the potential to improve player training and overall venue operations.”
Verizon isn’t just limited to the NFL, the company is also providing 5G network services to more than 60 venues across the country.
Source: Fierce Wireless