US technology giants Verizon and CISCO team-up together to create 5G and mobile edge computing (MEC) solutions designed specifically to support the return of spectators to sports. The software firms are working closely on tools to manage social distancing.
The focus of this partnership is to build software that reduces the waiting time for fans and staff at pinch points. The platform is being designed to manage crowds at entry points, toilets, and concession stands, as well as identifying crowded areas and using digital signage or mobile applications to direct people to alternative locations.
Verizon Business is working on solutions that bring its Amazon Web Services-powered (AWS) 5G Edge Ultra-Wideband network to Cisco’s cloud-based location analytics tools.
The pandemic has forced most of the leagues and tournaments to play behind closed doors. However, teams need fans in the stadium for the survival of sports since stadium revenue is a sizeable chunk of total revenue. The National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are starting to bring back fans in more significant numbers.
CISCO has a client base of more than 350 sports and entertainment venues across 40 countries, including the T-Mobile Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Las Vegas Golden Knights. The company has also worked with the MLB franchise – Los Angeles Dodgers and the US Open golf tournament. The technology would be made available to all their clients.
Verizon’s existing sports partnerships include providing 5G solutions to National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), and the Indy 500 motor racing series.