Stadiums are sometimes called the cathedrals of our modern age. People gather at these cathedrals to enjoy sporting events and concerts, and actively share their experience via their social media networks.
Younger fans in the stadium, especially the millennials, typically seek excitement when visiting an event. They expect instant information about the event beyond what is visible from their seat. They want to see the action in real time from different, even personalized, camera angles. They want access to replays, and additional real time data on things like player information and statistics.
Besides the spectators in the stand, organizers also have other audiences to serve who can enable additional potential revenue sources. Consider VIP guests who could follow the event on UHD screens in the VIP suite. Or online users, who expect real-time, high quality video streaming to be available over the Internet.
Mercedes-Benz Arena is Shanghai’s premier live entertainment venue with 18,000 seats, 82 luxury suites, hosting 270 events and 5.2 million visitors annually.
Intel, Nokia, China Unicom and Tencent are paving the way to 5G by introducing the latest high performance network-edge technology into this spectacular arena to enable new experiences for spectators and remote viewers.
Using Nokia Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technology, powered by the Intel Xeon processor, and deployed as part of China Unicom’s EVO (Edge-Video Orchestration) network, the solution enables the videos captured within the venue and to be stored in a dedicated edge cloud. Spectators in the stadium can follow four different HD channels in real-time on their mobile devices. Professional and even user generated video content traffic remains within this edge cloud avoiding the latency incurred when connecting to a central cloud. The latency provided by the EVO solution is less than half a second – more than 60 times lower than the average latency of internet streaming live video. And there’s a prospective audience of over 100 million internet users outside of the arena who could follow the broadcasts using Local Breakout (LBO) link to the Tencent video server.
This platform opens up further potential revenue streams for venue owners and ecosystem partners – providing real time data and value added information services– such as food sales, restroom location and traffic, merchandizing locations, or parking guidance, etc.
The MEC solution offers further potential for public safety. By connecting security cameras and safety sensors within the venue, critical information can be collected promptly for analysis and immediate action. This information could be also used in case of emergency to guide visitors to the closest exit using their mobile devices.
The success of the MEC demonstration at Shanghai Mercedes Benz Arena joint project clearly indicates the new fan experiences and business opportunities that edge-cloud will open up for the 5G ecosystem. The applications and network architecture used in the arena give of us a view into the near future, where 5G will deliver experiences we will never forget!
For a deeper dive, explore the world of 5G Event experiences portal, and see our joint solution brief with Intel, China Unicom and Tencent on the MEC implementation in the Shanghai Mercedes Benz Arena.
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