Vodacom Demos Africa's First 5G Use Case of Live Sport Broadcast with Virtual Reality

Vodacom Demos Africa's First 5G Use Case of Live Sport Broadcast with Virtual Reality Image Credit: Vodacom

Vodacom partnered with Nokia to showcase the future of Virtual Reality (VR) through two different 5G powered experiences during Vodacom Durban July, one of Africa’s greatest horseracing event.

The first VR experience will showcase the high speed and low latency capabilities of 5G and will use 4K video cameras to record and stream live, immersive footage from two different positions at the Greyville racecourse. Each of these cameras will broadcast a live, 360 degree feed over 5G back to the Vodacom hospitality suite, where guests can experience the feeds from the racecourse through VR headsets, and be virtually transported into the live scenes from the day’s races.

The first camera has been positioned in the Parade Ring, which will enable guests at the Vodacom hospitality suite to have a live, virtual view of the horses as they are paraded before each race. The second camera has been positioned at the finish line, and will enable guests to watch the action packed finish of each race in VR, as if they were at the finish line themselves.  The images from the cameras will be streamed in real time over a Nokia Airscale 5G base station, and uses 100 MHz of Vodacom’s own spectrum in the 28 GHz frequency band.

A second 5G-enabled related VR experience will also be demonstrated in the form of a VR penalty shootout, where high speeds and super-low latency are both critical to the reality of the experience. The VR penalty shootout experience will enable participants to ‘feel’ the difference between the different latencies which are typical of 4G and 5G networks, by introducing different reaction times. This VR experience will allow participants to feel as if they are physically within a stadium facing the best goalkeepers in the world, which is fitting considering the soccer fever currently gripping the globe.

Vodacom’s 5G VR showcases at the Vodacom Durban July illustrate the opportunities and use cases which could be made available through a 5G network, says Vodacom.

Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile
Andries Delport, Chief Technology Officer at Vodacom says: “Our future will be characterised by a range of new technologies that are fusing our physical and digital worlds. Robotics and super-realistic virtual & augmented reality are characteristic of this era. These new technologies require the high speed and low latency that only a 5G network can deliver.

Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile
The team is working at record pace to deploy 600 MHz LTE throughout the country, and we’re already expanding the network and challenging the Duopoly in places they’ve never had to compete before.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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