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Volume 22 No. 35
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What are they saying: Sizing up the capabilities of 5G

What executives across teams, media, telecommunications and venue management and design are saying about the coming 5G revolution.

"We’re still at not even the beginning of the beginning of what’s happening with 5G. But a lot of the things we’ve always wanted to do are going to be possible."

— Geoff Reiss, general manager, Yahoo Sports, part of Verizon Media

"I’m confident that 5G networks will be worth the investment, but the challenge will be about when to implement 5G and decommission a perfectly good 4G DAS. This will depend on the use cases and ROI of the 5G deployment. The circumstances will be different from building to building."

— Marcus Wasdin, chief information officer, Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena

"I think the biggest impact we’re looking at from 5G is the notion of connected everything. It’s going to be a huge accelerant for the ‘internet of things,’ and the ability to connect anything and have it spin off data on a real-time basis."

— Bill Schlough, senior vice president and chief information officer, San Francisco Giants 

"The ability to deliver console-quality gaming basically anywhere is a very exciting prospect for 5G, and something that will have huge impacts within sports."

— Dom Tait, principal consultant, Ovum

"The combination of low latency and big pipe [from 5G] allows me to send video to the cloud and back to my phone, so I see my own version of the game."

— Taher Behbehani, senior vice president and general manager, mobile B2B division, Samsung Electronics America

Fan experience is one area that is likely to see the biggest impact with 5G technology.
Photo: AP Images

"For fans, we anticipate emerging technologies like augmented reality will be able to be implemented in earnest with the adaptation of 5G technology. For example, fans could, in the future, hold up a phone to the field and potentially have access to overlaid stats, live feedback and pertinent information unavailable to fans at home."

— Rashed Singaby, senior project designer, HOK

"We are accelerating towards a world where all people and things are connected. We expect to see significant changes in how fans experience sporting events, including real-time access to player information, augmented reality, and increased gamification of sporting events. For example, new visualization capabilities (e.g. virtual or augmented reality) will show a fan the real-time player point-of-view and a corresponding wealth of player statistics and game probabilities. This connected capability will drive a more immersive fan experience regardless of where they are located. This requires a massive increase in the level and speed of connectivity, which can only be realized through the promise of 5G."

— Jeff Wilkinson, chief information officer, Delaware North

"A 5G network is just starting to be rolled out. It will take time to landscape the entire United States with this technology. The current 4G handset will not be able to use 5G right now. [It] will be in the hands of the team or management company operating the stadium to weigh the cost versus the benefits of this new technology."

— Ed Mullen, vice president, Stadium 1

Growth of 5G in venues could allow teams to better connect with fans througout the building by providing real-time content.
Photo: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

"The teams are going to love 5G because the fans will be able to receive information in real time on the concourse through newly developed apps as well as uploading content to the fans’ social sites instead of waiting for the end of the event. The teams will be able to provide real-time interactive content on the concourse and in the bowl. Venue operators will have the ability to monitor the building’s systems through [the internet of things] and become more responsive in peak user periods."

— Nick Moriarty, senior designer, Rossetti

"Not only do you get the improved speed and connectivity from 5G, but that has the added effect of reducing your reliance on Wi-Fi, particularly in venues, and easing up on those networks."

— Mike Zeto, vice president of Internet of Things solutions and general manager of smart cities, AT&T