Ericsson and Ooredoo Qatar are to boost fan experience at next year’s FIFA World Cup 2022 through the installation of next-gen 5G connectivity at stadiums.

The partners will provide network optimisation and event management and 5G connectivity in the eight Qatar 2022 stadiums across six cities, as well as in dedicated fan zones, airports and places of attraction.

The partnership will see Ericsson and Ooredoo Qatar managing 5G radio access network (RAN) operation performance across the network through Ericsson Managed Services solutions.

The system will be tested at the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup regional tournament in Qatar from the end of this month.

The partners said: “With 5G delivering the capabilities for advanced and time-critical services at scale, combined with a strong demand for mobile sports applications, communications service providers now have a great opportunity to take the stadium experiences to the next level.”

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, deputy group chief executive officer and chief executive of Ooredoo Qatar, said: “As a global pioneer of the fifth generation technology, we aim to deliver seamless experiences to visitors as well as spectators and provide a highly digital, immersive and intelligent Qatar 2022 tournament experience to our subscribers.”

Ericsson and Ooredoo Qatar’s ongoing 5G-focused nationwide network modernization is enabling Ooredoo Qatar to swiftly deploy new technology towards the goal of nationwide 5G coverage.

The strengthened Ericsson-powered RAN network will enable Ooredoo Qatar to offer and facilitate fan use cases based on enhanced mobile broadband, with very high network speeds, low latency and large data capacity. Fans will be able to enjoy high-definition real-time interactivity and streaming experiences.

Ericsson Radio System products and solutions have been used in stadiums in other parts of the  world to boost connectivity and increase capacity, giving fans a superior ability to stream live from the sports venue in addition to interactive communication and social networking services.

Fadi Pharaon, president of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, said: “After equipping Qatar’s stadiums with the best-in-class Ericsson Radio System, we are thrilled to partner with Ooredoo to bring our sports event management and network operations expertise to Qatar.

“We look forward to power a fully 5G-enabled football tournament, leveraging the combination of extensive capacity, high speed and low latency that will enable us to deliver interactive, digital and immersive sporting experiences to football fans. Through our expertise and experience, we aspire to support our customers around the world to deliver exceptional, high-performance, digital and immersive fan experiences at major sporting events.”