Verizon details 5G plans for Super Bowl

US telco Verizon will seek to enhance the fan experience at Sunday’s Super Bowl by introducing a number of 5G initiatives for the 22,000 spectators inside Raymond James Stadium and viewers watching at home.

The ‘Verizon 5G SuperStadium in the NFL’ mobile app will enable fans inside the stadium to engage with seven different camera angles, while fans watching at home will experience five angles. The initiative will be made available to fans with an iPhone 12 model.

The app will also include augmented reality overlays of NFL’s Next Gen Stats for players, while Verizon Media’s Watch Together viewing experience in the Yahoo Sports mobile app will give fans the chance to co-watch the game with friends and family on their phones.

The SuperStadium and Watch Together experiences will be powered by Verizon Media Platform’s real-time streaming technology and can be accessed when the game broadcast begins on CBS.

Verizon will also launch a 5G stadium experience in the Fortnite video game (pictured). The activation will use Fortnite’s Creative Mode and give gamers the opportunity to interact with NFL players and pro gamers.

Verizon has invested over $80m (£58.8m/€66.5m) to enhance its network to support the Super Bowl. Raymond James Stadium and the surrounding areas have received substantial 5G enhancements, including 70 miles of high-speed fibre, an upgraded distributed antenna system and 281 small cell antennas that will provide coverage at events in and around the stadium.

Diego Scotti, chief marketing officer at Verizon, said: “With 5G, we are beginning to see the transformation of various industries and the innovation that comes with it. Reimagining live events is one of the best use cases for the power of 5G.

“During a year like this one, it is a thrill to transform the Super Bowl experience by creating a first-of-its-kind virtual stadium in Fortnite that brings a new level of gaming to life, while at the same time we’re innovating the in-stadium experience.”

Last month, Verizon committed to providing its 5G Ultra Wideband service in 28 NFL stadiums by the end of 2021. Verizon signed a two-year innovation partnership with the NFL in March 2019.

Raymond James Stadium is the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl. it will mark the first time in the history of the game that a team has played a ‘home’ Super Bowl.

The NFL announced last month that it was planning for 22,000 fans to be in attendance at the Super Bowl, including around 7,500 vaccinated health care workers. The majority of health care workers will come from hospitals and health care systems in the Tampa and central Florida area.

A number of COVID-19 protocols will be in place during the game, including mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, podded seating and touchless in-stadium experiences. In November, the NFL and payment services brand Visa detailed plans to make the Super Bowl a cash-free event from this season.

Image: Verizon