DFL and Vodafone to use 5G and new app to enhance data for fans

Christian Siefert

July 4 – Vodafone and Germany’s DFL are linking up to deliver 5G technology to a Bundesliga stadium for the first time and to launch a real time app that will speed up the delivery of match information to fans without buffering or non-connection issues.

The two-year co-operation will begin at the start of the 2019/20 season.

With stadium wifi often reaching critical mass in stadia as fans increasingly use their mobile phones to access data during games, the new DFL partnership with Vodafone aims to increase the speed of the digital flow via a real-time app that will provide match data via augmented reality. Included in the app will be new sets of data like player speed.

Average attendance at Bundesliga matches is 43,000 and Vodafone says it is receiving up to 500 gigabytes of data rushes in the stadium via its network. It is a fast grow trend with the data volume increasing by about 50% last year alone.

The partners will also introduce a real-time 5G network in a Bundesliga stadium for the first time in VfL Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena. They say this will increase the available network capacity in the stadium by more than 60%.

DFL CEO Christian Seifert (pictured) said: “Technologies are only as good as the application possibilities that emerge from them. As a leader of innovation, the DFL is continuously advancing new technologies concerning sport and media to provide additional possibilities to spectators in the stadium and in front of screens. We are doing this by connecting 5G and real-time information. A strong 5G infrastructure provides the ideal conditions for partners and clubs too.”

The real-time app uses about 1,600 match events and 3.6 million positioning points, which the DFL gathers during a Bundesliga match. The data is analysed in real time and transmitted to smartphones without via 5G. The app presents the data visually and provides live graphs, statistics and analysis, which were previously only available after the match on TV.

Vodafone CEO Hannes Ametsreiter said: “Our partnership with the DFL is the kick-off for 5G in the Bundesliga. With the new mobile communications technology, we are bringing real-time information to statistics fans in the stands, and we are increasing network capacity for football fans in the stadium.”

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