The president of Spanish football giants Barcelona says the club will be a “laboratory for innovation” after revealing its Camp Nou home will become the first stadium in Europe to feature 5G technology as standard.
The Mobile World Congress event in the city hosted the first broadcast of Ernesto Valverde’s team in action using 360-degree cameras connected by the fifth generation mobile technology.
The audience was treated to live images of the stadium, a first-team training session taking place nearby and a virtual tour of the stadium, showcasing how 5G can revolutionise the way sports content is shown on television.
The 5G project, developed by FC Barcelona and Telefónica, has seen the deployment of the tech both in the stands and on the playing field.
The club says this will enable fans to explore new and more immersive ways of enjoying sports events from home.
The placement of 360-degree cameras in different places around the Camp Nou without the need for cables means an immersive experience can be relayed to any home viewer.
With virtual reality glasses, the spectator will be able to watch the match from the directors’ box, from behind a goal, by the benches or from any viewpoint at any given time.
Once this technology is fully operative, they will be able to watch and listen to the game as if they were on the field.
“At FC Barcelona it makes us very proud that the Camp Nou is the first football stadium in Europe with internal 5G coverage,” said Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Camp Nou is the first football stadium in Europe with 5G coverage, technology that allows us to be leaders in innovation in the world of sport. Today, in the Mobile World Congress, we announced the news alongside Telefónica and GSMA pic.twitter.com/VW0zcyUj74
— Josep Maria Bartomeu (@jmbartomeu) February 26, 2019
The president said the tech will be included in the ‘Espai Barça’ project, which will see the Camp Nou complex transformed into “the world’s number one sports complex in the centre of a major city” and the ground itself increased to a 105,000-person capacity.
“Thanks to this agreement between FC Barcelona and GSMA, in partnership with Telefónica, we have made the Camp Nou a laboratory for innovation in the most advanced technology in mobile telephony, 5G,” added Bartomeu.