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February 9, 2018

This Week in 5G: The Winter Olympics .

    Chelsea Sellers

    Drones, 5G, VR. Oh, how the Winter Olympics have changed since we last saw them!

    The modern Olympic Games and technology share an incredible history. It’s the event’s global appeal that makes it the perfect testbed and proving ground for communications innovations. In 1964, the use of live satellite meant countries around the world received real-time television pictures and updates from Tokyo. In preparation for the 1984 Summer Olympics, the first-ever major fiber-optic cable deployment supported broadcasting from 35 venues in Los Angeles. And in 1998, the first webcasting experiment took place at the Nagano Winter Olympics.

    At the 2018 Winter Olympics, taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea, hopes are high to successfully introduce 5G to the world.

    But what does that actually mean?

    Intel, in collaboration with KT Corporation, developed the world’s largest 5G showcase and will deliver the first broad-scale 5G network paired with Intel 5G technologies, enabling immersive, on-site 5G-powered experiences.

    Spectators in PyeongChang will enjoy live Virtual Reality experiences in rapid time, about 100Mbps with latency of two milliseconds. That’s fast.

    Attendees will also be able to use Samsung 5G-enabled tablets to stream HD video of events from virtually any angle and view athlete data.

    Drones will perform a synchronized light show and transmit unique footage via 5G wireless networks. Beyond entertainment, they will also be keeping athletes and fans safe and secure by using facial-recognition to scan the crowds and even snagging other unauthorized drones that could pose risks.

    Those at home can access more than 50 hours of live Olympics programming in Virtual Reality. Via your mobile phone, an app and your television provider, more than 30 events will be available, marking the first VR-friendly Winter Olympics.

    You will also be able to experience Opening and Closing Ceremonies in 180-degree views, including the option to pick where in the stadium you want to watch from. Sports like skiing, curling, figure skating, ice hockey and snowboarding will be equipped for 360-degree views. Cameras will be planted on either side of the competitor to provide the athlete’s point of view.

    While no app or headset can truly replace attending the Olympic Games, we are all about to experience it like never before from our living room, office or even local park. The 2018 Winter Games will serve as the first platform for large-scale, international exposure to the power of 5G.

    We’re about to get a peek into what a 5G-enabled world will look like, so let the Games begin!

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