Russia will stream the World Cup in VR with 5G

Russia is the latest country to use a sporting event to test 5G

When Morocco takes on Iran at the Russian World Cup on 15 June, supporters will be able to watch the game in VR over a 5G real-time stream.

The Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg has been fitted with high-definition cameras that will broadcast the game over a 5G connection to residents of Moscow, some 600 kilometres away.

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The Russian capital will have a "5G zone" where supporters can switch to different camera views as they watch the match in real-time with VR glasses.

5G has already been demonstrated at a major sporting event with the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where South Korean telecom carrier KT Corp used the technology from Intel, Ericsson AB and Samsung Electronics Co to power various services.

Intel's True VR allowed users to don VR glasses and see sports such as figure skating in 360-degree images in real time. The company has also been used to watch the Superbowl in the same way.

Fifth-generation wireless networks are designed to be about 100 times faster than 4G, at 10gbps, and can send full-length HD videos in seconds.

For Moscow, the World Cup is an opportunity to demonstrate the power of 5G and the potential it has to transform the capital into a smart city. The Russian government is currently researching which frequencies it should use for 5G.

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Some companies are already using 3.5 and 28 gigahertz for temporary demonstrations, such as MegaFon, which is one of the largest operators in Russia and has partnered with the city government to provide the 5G zones for the World Cup.

Citywide deployment of 5G is still a few years away and is set to be a big enabler of smart cities. Speaking at the launch of London Tech Week yesterday Mayor of London Sadiq Khan outlined a roadmap for London to become a rich technological ecosystem thanks to its vast collection of AI startups.

"There are few areas of innovation that have the power to define our future economy and security more than artificial intelligence. As mayor, it is my goal to ensure both that London is at the forefront of developing and capitalising on these new technologies, and that all Londoners can benefit from the opportunities they create," he said.

Picture: Shutterstock

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