NOS, TVU Networks and Ibertelco broadcast first football matches over 5G in Portugal

Hologram of Sporting CP captain Sebastian Coates during an interview following his team’s win on 11 May

Technology from TVU Networks has been widely used in Portugal’s first football games broadcast using 5G technology. AV supplier Ibertelco connected Portuguese telco NOS with TVU Networks to supply video-over-IP delivery solutions at the country’s first 5G-enabled stadiums – Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade. NOS recently equipped both stadiums with a full 5G communications infrastructure.

As part of an overall NOS 5G demo, several TVU One mobile transmitters, the TVU Anywhere mobile app and TVU transceivers were used to deliver live 5G video from the pitch during a Liga NOS match, as a roaming reporter covered the victory celebration, and to transport the holographic version of the winning team captain for a post-game interview.

“We are preparing ourselves for the future,” said Felipe Montesinos Gomes, head of sponsorship & activation, NOS. “With 5G, our network capacity can handle a far greater volume of data within the stadium, allowing us to offer a superior experience to fans in the stands and those watching from home. Those in the stands can chose the angle from which to see the game or activate one of the broadcast cameras, among other more immersive activities. We’re lucky to have found in TVU Networks a partner that can provide the level of transmission reliability over IP and technical support we require for such large-scale innovation.”

In addition to its typical 18-camera coverage, Benfica TV (BTV) added seven 5G feeds to its 6 May broadcast from Estádio da Luz (SL Benfica vs FC Porto). The 5G cameras were placed in areas not accessible with manned, wired cameras, such as near the goal netting, a walkway at the top of the stadium, the tunnel from the locker rooms to the field and beside player benches. Four TVU One 5G mobile transmitters and three 5G mobile phones with the TVU Anywhere app were used to deliver high-quality, low-latency video from the field to four dual-channel TVU transceivers at an OB van on site. From there the signals were streamed and broadcast to viewers across the globe.

Feeds from 5G cameras placed throughout Estadio da Luz

During the game in which Sporting CP won the Liga NOS title on 11 May at Estádio José Alvalade, Portuguese broadcaster TVI employed its own application of NOS 5G with a post-game roaming reporter and holographic player interview. Social media influencer Guilherme Geirinhas covered Sporting CP’s celebrations after winning the league title using the TVU Anywhere app on his phone and a TVU One mobile transmitter. Signals from the reporter’s phone were sent to a TVU transceiver at an OB van on site for broadcast and streaming. The holographic image of Sporting CP captain Sebastian Coates was sent via a TVU One 5G device to a TVU transceiver at the TVI studio after his team’s win. From the studio, a TVI host conducted a live interview with the hologram version of Coates.

“NOS is really pushing the envelope with 5G and we couldn’t be happier to be part of such a progressive project,” said Rafael Castillo, VP of Europe, TVU Networks. “The strengthened bonded cellular connections, sub-second latency and increased signal quality of our technology marries perfectly with the capabilities of live sports over 5G. This is just the start of more dynamic, 5G-enabled coverage we’ll see thanks to the communications infrastructure NOS has put in place.”

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