Benfica call on NOS for Portugal’s first 5G stadium

Primeira Liga club bids to ‘radically transform’ the live game experience.

by Ed Dixon

Benfica call on NOS for Portugal’s first 5G stadium
  • Technology to give fans access to game statistics and different camera angles, as well as allow them to send HD video
  • New 5G capabilities also aim to boost Benfica’s wider operation, including commercial services and TV broadcasts

Benfica have become the first Portuguese soccer club to offer 5G connectivity at their stadium.

The collaboration with mobile communications partner NOS will offer fans a variety of new features when they are able to return to the the 65,000-seater Estádio da Luz.

During games, supporters will be able to access immersive content provided by a combination of 5G and other technology such as virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). This includes game and player statistics in real time, choosing the angle from which to watch the match, activating one of the cameras used during the broadcast transmission, and transmitting high definition (HD) live video.

Benfica say the technology will ‘radically transform the experience’ for those watching at the stadium.

In addition, the NOS 5G network will aim to improve Benfica’s wider operation, allowing for optimised communication between technical teams, accurate assessment of the players' performance, and access to real-time statistics and tactical analysis.

The stadium’s 5G capabilities will also benefit Benfica’s commercial services and other entities related to the club, such as television broadcasts, restaurant services and ATMs.

The network at the Estádio da Luz is being powered by a system of 5G antennas in each of the stands, which ensures full coverage of the public areas. This is complemented by a system of 5G cells to ensure VIP areas of the stadium receive ‘excellent coverage’.

Rui Costa, vice president at Benfica, said: “This is a game-changing project. We are constantly striving to build deeper connections with our loyal fanbase and this new technology will bring Benfica even closer to its fans and supporters. It means an improved experience in this stadium, for all our supporters and for Benfica as an organisation”.

Manuel Ramalho Eanes, executive director of NOS, added: “This is a technological milestone of enormous relevance for NOS, both for building our leadership path in 5G and for the transformation of the Sport Lisboa e Benfica stadium into a highly digital and intelligent sports venue, unique in Portugal.

“When 5G is a reality, we want to be the first to deliver it to people and businesses. Football is a natural territory for the technology to develop, and so this partnership with Benfica makes perfect sense.”