The carrier will partner with Pepsi for a second-screen experience this Sunday.
Want the most immersive way to enjoy the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday? Verizon is using its 5G network and several strategically placed 360-degree cameras to enhance the at-home viewing experience.
Those cameras will capture the event in 4K, and fans can watch through the Pepsi Halftime Show app(Opens in a new window). “It lets fans feel as though they are on stage with the artists,” says Verizon Chief Marketing Officer Diego Scotti.
Of course, most viewers will be watching the game on big-screen TVs. But both Verizon and Pepsi say many people consume content on their smartphones while games play on their TVs. So if you really want to dive into the halftime show, the 360-degree views promise to give you an even closer look as Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar perform.
On the technical side, Verizon says the 360-degree cameras at the Super Bowl stadium in Los Angeles are connected to ground-based fiber networks. However, as the halftime show is edited and produced at NFL offices, the resulting video will be uploaded to viewers through Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.
To prepare for the Super Bowl, Verizon spent $119 million outfitting SoFi Stadium and the surrounding Hollywood Park area with 5G cellular equipment. As a result, subscribers should see download speeds from between 100Mbps to as high as 700Mbps, according to PCMag’s recent tests of Verizon’s 5G upgrades.
For fans at the game, Verizon also plans on using the 5G network to upgrade the Super Bowl viewing experience no matter where someone is seated. Verizon 5G ticket holders will be able to use a mobile app on their phones to see the action unfold live through seven cameras placed across the stadium.
“Because we have 5G Ultra Wideband, we can enable that experience,” says Verizon Chief Revenue Officer Frank Boulben. “So we could have as many as tens of thousands of fans participating in that experience, we will have the capacity with 5G Ultra Wideband to make that possible. So it’s great showcase of the power of the technology.”
Verizon has offered the same multi-view experience for concerts, along with last year’s Super Bowl, and says the technology resonates with consumers. “You will see us doing that in more stadiums, in more venues moving forward because customers love it,” Boulben adds.
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I’ve been with PCMag since October 2017, covering a wide range of topics, including consumer electronics, cybersecurity, social media, networking, and gaming. Prior to working at PCMag, I was a foreign correspondent in Beijing for over five years, covering the tech scene in Asia.
I’ve been working as a journalist for about 15 years—I got my start as a schools and cities reporter in Kansas City. Amazingly I’m still here. Lately, I’ve been following SpaceX’s Starlink network, emerging online cyber threats, and the PC graphics card market (which led me to camp out in front of a Best Buy to get an RTX 3000). I’m always eager to learn more, so please jump in the comments with feedback and send me tips.
My first video game console: a Nintendo Famicom
I loved my Sega Saturn despite PlayStation’s popularity.
The iPod Video I received as a gift in college
Xbox 360 FTW
The Galaxy Nexus was the first smartphone I was proud to own.
The PC desktop I built in 2013, which still works to this day.
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