The 2018 World Cup was an exciting time for fans around the world and the athletes and organizations that participated. It was a spectacle of athletic prowess, the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. But, then, you all know that.
What you may not know was this soccer tournament also helped pioneer the use of 360° video on demand, virtual reality, and the latest in connectivity.
For the first time ever, technicians filmed each game using 37 cameras. That included a cable-cam, a Cineflex Helicam, and a super slow-motion and two ultra-motion cameras.
This setup allowed camera operators to capture the action in Ultra High Definition with High Dynamic Range. The resulting content supported a video assistant referee application. That helped human referees make more accurate calls.
The VAR application used the content that broadcast cameras fed from the 12 stadiums to the video operation room. That feed was transported via fiber optic network. (And a sophisticated fiber-supported radio system enabled the video assistant referee team and the human referee to communicate.) High-bandwidth and low latency were extremely important to allow the virtual assistant referee to review footage and make decisions based on it in real time.
The 5G-capable radios and fiber network delivered the necessary performance. This next-generation wireless network served more than 40 sites in seven cities. It provided service to stadiums as well as fan zones, famous landmarks such as Moscow’s Red Square, and transportation hubs.
But all that's just the kickoff in terms of what’s possible with fiber and wireless next-generation networks. 5G promises to deliver 100 times faster speeds, support for 100 times more devices, and provide 10 times lower latency than today’s 4G networks. And fiber and new adaptive network architectures will help support that level of performance and speed.
Adaptive and intent-based networking employs analytics and policies to automate decisions and management. That allows networks to do automatic and expedited configuration, optimization, scaling, and service turnup.
That will enable even bigger and better applications and experiences for sports fans and organizations in the future. It could allow in-stadium fans and remote viewers to have more immersive experiences during events like the World Cup.
For example, imagine being able to control your view of the field and change your position of the action at will. These are the kinds of experiences that 5G technology, adaptive and intent-based networking, and artificial and virtual reality could help deliver. It’s a whole new game.
Edited by Maurice Nagle