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Verizon and Cisco partner on 5G stadia tech for Covid safety

US software firms working on tools to manage social distancing.

by Steven Impey

Verizon and Cisco partner on 5G stadia tech for Covid safety
  • Solutions designed to identify crowded areas and reduce wait times
  • Verizon to deliver 5G Edge network to multiple sporting venues
  • US telecommunications firm’s existing partners include NFL, NHL, and Indy 500

US technology giants Verizon and Cisco have partnered to create 5G and mobile edge computing (MEC) solutions designed specifically to support the return of spectators inside sporting venues.

Their focus is around software that helps reduce wait times 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 patrons to alternative locations.

Verizon Business is working on solutions that brings its Amazon Web Services-powered (AWS) 5G Edge Ultra Wideband network to Cisco’s cloud-based location analytics tools.

The coronavirus pandemic has, for the most part, forced sports teams and leagues to ban or limit their fans from attending stadia. However, in the US, both the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are starting to bring back fans in more significant numbers.

The technology could be made available to Cisco’s client base of more than 350 sports and entertainment venues in more than 40 countries, including the T-Mobile Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Las Vegas Golden Knights. The company has also worked on projects with the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB franchise and golf’s US Open.

Verizon’s existing sports partnership portfolio currently includes providing 5G solutions to the NFL and the National Hockey League (NHL), as well as the Indy 500 motor racing series.

“While all sports and entertainment fans are looking forward to the day they can get back to their favourite venues, many are understandably nervous about their safety in large crowds,” said Aamir Hussain, chief product officer for Verizon Business.

“This solution will help put minds at ease so fans can re-enter venues with the knowledge that strong steps are being taken to safeguard their wellbeing. This is one of the many 5G-enabled experiences powered by Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband that is changing the in-person fan experience in dozens of stadiums.”