Telecommunications company Vodafone is bringing 5G into stadia across Germany through its partnership with the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL).

The DFL, which operates Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, has signed a two-year deal to provide 5G infrastructure in-stadia to boost the mobile communications capacity for fans. It is said that mobile reception will improve by 60 per cent within the stadiums.

The technology will initially be installed at the 30,000-capacity Volkswagen Arena, the home ground of VfL Wolfsburg, in the autumn.

Through the new partnership, the DFL and Vodafone are developing a real-time app that makes information and match data available to the fans in the stadium without delay on their smartphones via augmented reality – before, during and after the match.

Vodafone chief executive Hannes Ametsreiter said: “Football lives on emotions. Data and analyses are also becoming increasingly important for many fans. So far, they have often been available at home on the TV only after the match.

“We are now bringing these worlds together. Our partnership with the DFL is the kick-off for 5G in the Bundesliga. With the new mobile communications technology, we are bringing real-time information to statistics fans in the stands, and we are increasing network capacity for football fans in the stadium.”

Bundesliga matches attracted an average crowd of 43,000 last season, with fans using around 500GB of data via the Vodafone network – up 50 per cent on the previous year.

DFL chief executive Christian Seifert added: “Technologies are only as good as the application possibilities that emerge from them. As a leader of innovation, the DFL is continuously advancing new technologies concerning sport and media to provide additional possibilities to spectators in the stadium and in front of screens.

“We are doing this by connecting 5G and real-time information. A strong 5G infrastructure provides the ideal conditions for partners and clubs too.”

Image: DFL