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The president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu; the CEO of GSMA, John Hoffman; and the president of Telefónica España, Emilio Gayo, joined by the CEO of the Mobile World Capital, Carles Grau, presented the 5GStadium Project today, as part of the 5G Barcelona programme to consolidate the city as the leading 5G hub in Europe. The event was held at the Mobile World Capital stand. FC Barcelona Board directors Javier Bordas, Dídac Lee, Marta Plana and the Cultural Advisor of the Board Teresa Basilio were also present.
The 5G Stadium project developed by FC Barcelona and Telefónica has made the Camp Nou the first football stadium in Europe to have dedicated standard 5G coverage. The deployment of this technology both in the stands and on the playing field, using Telefónica’s commercial band and a standard 3GPP Ericsson network, will enable the exploration of new and more immersive ways of enjoying sports events from home as if actually being in the stadium.
At the event, Telefónica and FC Barcelona beamed live images of the Camp Nou to the Mobile World Congress. A video also showed exclusive content from the first team training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, and a virtual tour of the stadium to showcase how 5G technology can revolutionise the way sports content is shown on television.
The placement of 360º cameras in different places around the Camp Nou without the need for cables means an immersive experience can be relayed to any home viewer. With Virtual Reality glasses, the spectator will be able to watch the match from the directors’ box, from behind a goal, by the benches, or from any viewpoint at any given time. Once this technology is fully operative, they will be able to watch and listen to the game as if they were on the field.
Major football stadiums have in recent years become places where new technologies play a key role in capturing and relaying sporting experiences: cablecams, flycams, video drones, reinforced mobile coverage and the broadcasting of exclusive content are just some of the innovations that enrich the television experience and that 5G will take to the next level thanks to the high uplink rate, lower latency and Edge Computing, which means 360º cameras can be positioned without the need to worry about communication cables.
5G technology also boosts video flows between 30 Mbps and up to 200 Mbps because of the qualities of 360º in 4K, while a streaming server placed on the closest Edge of the mobile network to the users means that multiple spectators with 360º goggles can be immersed in the greatest viewing experience available today on mobile devices.
Espai Barça project
This new technology will be implemented as well in the future Camp Nou the new stadium that FC Barcelona is undertaking as part of the Espai Barça. This project represents the transformation of all FC Barcelona venues and will become the world’s number one sports complex in the centre of a major city. The Espai Barça includes the future Camp Nou, a covered stadium for approximately 105.000 spectators; a new Palau Blaugrana, a multipurpose arena for 12.000 spectators; the Johan Cruyff Stadium, adjacent to the FC Barcelona Training Ground and that will open next July, and the Barça Campus, which will represent a reorganization of the area around the Club venues in within the neighbourhood of Les Corts. The project will not only make the future Camp Nou one of the best stadiums in the world but will also as well new opportunities for the Club’s social and economic development.
Statement by Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FC Barcelona
“At FC Barcelona it makes us very proud that the Camp Nou is the first football stadium in Europe with internal 5G coverage. The Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe. It holds more than 90,000 spectators and when Espai Barça is finished the capacity will rise to 105,000. Thanks to this agreement between FC Barcelona and GSMA, in partnership with Telefónica, we have made the Camp Nou a laboratory for innovation in the most advanced technology in mobile telephony, 5G”.
Statement by Emilio Gayo, president of Telefónica España
“At Telefónica we are convinced that connectivity is the oxygen of the digital world in which we are immersed, and the new capabilities of the 5G network will be essential in this new generation of services. Watching a world-class football match live is not a privilege that everyone can enjoy, and this project means we can dream of offering our customers the chance to take a front seat at sporting events”.
Statement by John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA
“The 5G Stadium-Immersive Reality in sports pilot programme is further proof that the technology industry is diversifying towards new sectors, and becoming more and more relevant. With immersive reality, new generations will experience sports differently and sports fans will be offered unprecedented access, and will also be able to customize their own experiences from any angle in 360º”.
Statement by Carlos Grau, CEO of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona
“5G technology allows us to put such an unbeatable worldwide environment as the one offered by the city of Barcelona to the test. The technology hub that Barcelona is becoming combines the most advanced technology with talent and innovation and is just a sample of the long road we still have ahead of us”.
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