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US stadia benefit from Verizon’s latest 5G roll-out

Fans visiting Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Washington DC’s Capital One Arena will now have access to 5G after Verizon announced its roll-out of the technology in four new US cities.

The telecom’s operator added the additional live cities – also including Detroit and Indianapolis – on Wednesday, bringing its total to nine locations.

In Atlanta, the 71,000-capacity MB Stadium, which is home to NFL American football franchise the Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer (MLS) club Atlanta United, is the only live events venue to gain access to 5G through Verizon.

Similarly in Washington DC, Capital One Arena, home to the NBA basketball franchise the Washington Wizards and NHL ice hockey team the Washington Capitals, is the only live events venue to benefit from yesterday’s 5G roll-out.

“Verizon continues its steady expansion of 5G Ultra Wideband service and is excited to bring the 5G future to Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer.

“Customers in these cities are at the forefront of game-changing technology, with access to download speeds and bandwidth that will power the future of consumer, business and government mobile applications. Similarly, cities that embrace new technology, like 5G Ultra Wideband, have a leg up in competition to attract businesses and create jobs.”

In March, the NFL and Verizon signed a two-year partnership to develop new products and services that utilise 5G technology. The deal will also seek to develop products that use other future technologies as part of plans to enhance NFL games and improve the overall fan experience.

Through the roll-out, Atlanta becomes the first US city to have 5G networks live from all four major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. It will see Verizon 5G in parts of Downtown, Midtown and Tech Square, as well as around landmarks including The Fox Theater, Emory University Hospital Midtown, and Centennial Olympic Park, among others.

Washington DC has the most expansive coverage of 5G networks, also available at Reagan National Airport, the United States Botanical Gardens, the Hart Senate Building, the National Gallery of Art, Lafayette Square, and the White House, among many other areas and landmarks.

The Verizon technology will be limited to begin with, though the carrier has vowed to “expand service availability in the months ahead” to cover more people in those areas with its network.

The roll-outs in Indianapolis and Detroit cover a number of urban areas, major landmarks and transport hubs.

Prior to this roll-out, Verizon also covered stadiums such as US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. It is also live across areas in Chicago, Denver Providence and St.Paul.

In November, Verizon offered an insight into how 5G technology could change the way fans experience live sports by offering a demonstration during a Sacramento Kings NBA basketball game.

The event marked the first time a US professional sports team used 5G to deliver a live, in-game 360 virtual reality experience to fans. A courtside camera set up at the scorer’s table captured the game and streamed it live over Verizon’s 5G technology to the AR/VR goggles worn by students in the arena’s esports lounge.

Image: Lina Kivaka