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Broadcast, telco consortium secures funding for 5G live event platform

Project aims to provide enhanced interactive viewing experiences direct to devices in stadia and at other select locations using 5G

A consortium of broadcasters and telecommunications companies have secured funding from the UK government to develop a 5G mobile based platform to broadcast events in stadiums and other venues.

The consortium is made up of the DTG, Digital Catapult, Global Wireless Solutions, O2 and Rohde & Schwarz. They have received £1.3 million from the government as part of 5G Create, a competition to support innovators exploring new uses for 5G to improve people’s lives and boost British businesses.

Overall, the project will cost £2.3 million and aims to provide enhanced interactive viewing experiences direct to devices in stadia and at other select locations, using 5G broadcast also known as FeMBMS: further enhanced multimedia broadcast multicast service.

The objective of the consortium’s VISTA (Video In Stadia Technical Architecture) project is to test and demonstrate consumer benefits and technical feasibility of using 5G FeMBMS technology.

The project will define use cases which further the development of the device and network ecosystem to support 5G broadcast. It will also demonstrate how 5G broadcast can lower carbon footprint by reducing the number of base stations and the amount of spectrum needed to deliver content to mass audiences.

Matt Warman, Digital Infrastructure minister said:5G presents a huge opportunity to enhance the stadium experience for sports fans with seamless access to multi-angle video, replays and stats. Project Vista is one of several high tech projects the government is funding to seize the full benefits of 5G for the UK, and I look forward to sharing the lessons learned with the UK’s wider live events sector.”

Meanwhile, the 5G Create competition has also awarded £2.2 million in funding to BBC Studios, EE, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Talesmith, Factory 42 and Dimension Studios to develop an AR experience inspired by the upcoming BBC One TV series, The Green Planet.

Factory 42 will co-produce the project with BBC Studios in association with natural history producer,  Talesmith. EE will deploy its 5G network and edge computing; while Dimension Studios will provide the volumetric capture video technology that will create the holographic images in the app – including David Attenborough himself.