Verizon said that its 5G Ultra Wideband network is already accessible in 24 professional football stadiums and indoor arenas primarily used for hockey and basketball games, the operator said in a release.
“By enhancing the fan experience and changing the way businesses operate in arenas and stadiums, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network has the potential to transform sports and entertainment. Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service is now available in 17 NFL stadiums and 7 indoor arenas and will continue to add sports and entertainment venues throughout 2020,” the telco said.
Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband service went live in 13 NFL stadiums on September 5, 2019. These initial stadiums included Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina, Broncos Stadium at Mile High in Colorado, CenturyLink Field in Washington, Ford Field in Michigan, Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, Hard Rock Stadium in Florida, and MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
Verizon said that the service will be concentrated in parts of the seating areas, with limited availability in other locations, and when customers with 5G-enabled smartphones move outside the 5G coverage area, their devices will transition to Verizon’s 4G network.
These initial deployments were followed by Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on December 13, the stadium in Cleveland on December 23, the stadium in Buffalo on December 26, and at the stadium in Kansas City which was announced on January 30. The first four indoor arenas were announced October 18 and 5G Ultra Wideband service went live in Buffalo’s professional hockey arena on December 26. More recently, the 5G service was turned on in basketball arenas in Portland and Chicago, Verizon said.
In related news, Verizon announced that it is partnering with NASCAR to modernize 12 NASCAR-owned racetracks and bring race fans, drivers and teams improved connectivity to enhance the at-track experience.
The partnership designates Verizon as the official wireless telecommunications and 5G mobility partner of NASCAR, as well as the official at-track Wi-Fi partner of 12 NASCAR-owned racetracks.
As part of this agreement, Verizon will work with NASCAR to upgrade its in-venue wireless communications service, starting with delivering improved Wi-Fi service in 12 racetracks, over the next three years.
“The thousands of fans attending NASCAR events across the country need reliable connectivity to share and send photos and videos of races in real-time, stay up-to-date on their favorite drivers, and connect with fellow fans inside and outside the track,” said George Fischer, SVP, 5G Ecosystems and Alliances for Verizon Business Group. “As the official wireless provider for NASCAR, we are looking forward to enhancing the fan experience today and working together to revolutionize the future of the racing experience for drivers and fans.”
“There’s nothing like the thrill and excitement of attending a NASCAR race and now there are more ways than ever to capture and share that experience,” said Craig Neeb, executive vice president and chief innovation officer, NASCAR. “Partnering with Verizon will offer fans the benefits of reliable in-venue connectivity as we usher in a new era for our sport.”