5G made its debut at Winter Olympics


There are a lot of trials and tests of ultrahigh-speed 5G internet currently running by many companies and institutions. However, this year for the first time 5G moved from tests in labs to the real world on a large, commercial scale. South Koreans, specifically Korean telecom – KT Corp showed how the experience of watching sporting events could change. Cameras and sensors deployed in arenas, on the sports gear, and on participants’ clothes let viewers experience what they had gotten used to watching, in a completely different way. Ultrafast internet allowed for transmitting data from all these devices and generating a three-dimensional picture in Virtual Reality. VR headset and a hundred of cameras placed around ice arena enabled event participants to watch live figure skating in zoom mode, from different angles, in 3D. Viewers also could pause, view skaters from another perspective and then return to live feed.

Those who wanted to look closer at bobsledded struggles could watch what athletes could see because it was possible for viewers to see the track during the race from athletes’ perspective. At the speed of 150 km/h (93 mph), it was completely different impression than that of traditional tv coverage. Technology allowed for a real-time view of cross-country skiers with the help of few cameras at the same time. Viewers could follow selected race participant thanks to GPS tracker or cameras. Cross-country skiing was more like tracking favorite athletes than watching same for all coverage from the front line.

Everything demonstrated at Winter Olympic in PyeongChang became possible because of 5G that can send an enormous amount of data in a short time, without latency, in a real-time. That is why massive events will be very different in the future, from a viewer perspective as well.