Vodafone will roll out 5G across stadiums in the Bundesliga as part of a new two-year partnership with the German Football League (DFL).
For the start of the 2019-20 season, the partnership between Vodafone and DFL will launch with a real-time app that makes information and match data available to fans in the stadium via augmented reality (AR) before, during and after the match.
The platform will utilise AR to provide fans with previously unavailable information and will highlight new performance data such as player sprint speeds.
The real-time flow of information is based on around 1,600 games and 3.6 million position points surveyed by the DFL during a Bundesliga match. The app visualises the data to produce live graphics, statistics and analysis, which were previously only available after the match on TV, and they are transmitted to smartphones via 5G.
With stadium wifi often reaching critical mass in stadia with increasing use of mobile phones to access data during games, the DFL and Vodafone aims to increase the speed of the digital flow via the real-time app as well as investing in infrastructure to enhance mobile communications capacity for fans.
“As an innovation leader, the DFL is systematically pushing ahead with new sports and media technologies to give viewers in the stadium and in front of the screens additional opportunities,” said DFL managing director Christian Seifert. “We succeed with the connection of 5G and real-time information. Also for clubs and partners a strong 5G infrastructure offers optimal conditions.”
Hannes Ametsreiter, Vodafone chief executive, added: “Football lives from emotions. Also data and analysis are becoming more and more important for many fans. So far, they often did not exist until after the match on the local TV. We bring these worlds together now.
Average attendances at Bundesliga matches is around 43,000 and Vodafone claims it is receiving up to 500 gigabytes of data in stadiums through its network. The company added that in the past year alone the volume of data in venues has increased by around 50 per cent.
This week the first Bundesliga stadium to be equipped with Vodafone’s 5G network, the VfL Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena, claimed to increase its network capacity increase by more than 60 per cent.