EE will use a test of its 5G network to carry out the first remote production live broadcast of a sporting event this weekend.
The telecoms firm, which is part of the BT Group, will partner with BT Sport to show the final of the EE Wembley Cup – an exhibition football tournament featuring a range of YouTube stars – live on the video platform using remote production over 5G.
5G is the next generation of mobile communications and is expected to offer significant increases on the speeds of 4G, power which EE says will enable broadcasters to use more remote or wireless cameras at events, reducing the restrictions provided by cables and current data signals.
To test the technology, EE and BT Sport carried out a live two-way broadcast using the technology between Wembley Stadium and the ExCel centre in east London, hosted by BT Sport presenters Matt Smith and Abi Stephens.
Last week, EE announced plans to begin launching 5G networks in 16 UK cities during 2019 as the first phase of introducing the new mobile network. It is also currently running trials in Canary Wharf and a range of smaller sites in east London.
Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer business, said: “This trial is another showcase of what our 5G network can do, and is a big part of our continued investment in using 5G across the whole of BT Group.
“The EE Wembley Cup Final 2018 will be the world’s first live sporting event to be broadcast over 5G, and that’s part of our ongoing commitment to innovation for our customers.”
The cup final will feature high-profile YouTube stars Spencer Owen, F2 Freestylers and Calfreezy, with the match being broadcast on Owen’s Hashtag United YouTube channel.
BT Sport chief operating officer Jamie Hindhaugh said the channel plans to use the technology to enable it to cover more football matches next season.
“BT Sport has a rich history of the latest broadcast innovations, whether it’s ultra-high-definition with Dolby Atmos or 360Virtual Reality,” he said.
“5G will next season enable BT Sport to deploy the most advanced remote production of any broadcaster. It will allow us to cover more live matches from more leagues and competitions, and to bring fans highlights action closer to the final whistle than has ever been done before in the UK.”