Home / News / Verizon brings 5G to the Super Bowl—for part of the stadium, anyway

Verizon brings 5G to the Super Bowl—for part of the stadium, anyway

A sign that says Super Bowl 54 outdoors in Miami.
Enlarge / An indication close to the Fox Sports activities South Seaside studio compound previous to Tremendous Bowl LIV in Miami Seaside, Florida.
Getty Photos | Cliff Hawkins

Verizon’s 5G hype prepare is heading to the Tremendous Bowl, however the provider will not inform us whether or not its new community will cowl all of the seats within the stadium.

With Tremendous Bowl LIV at Laborious Rock Stadium in Miami scheduled for February 2, Verizon emailed a media alert to Ars and different information shops on Wednesday final week, bragging that it’ll “energy the primary Tremendous Bowl that includes 5G.” Notably lacking from the information alert was any indication of what number of followers will be capable to use the 5G community from their seats throughout the recreation.

We requested Verizon if all of the seats and different components of the stadium could have 5G entry and acquired a obscure reply from the corporate spokesperson who despatched out the media alert: “Followers can entry 5G UWB [Ultra Wideband] within the bowl seating space, components of the concourse, ticketing areas, and parking zone.”

Whereas Verizon’s assertion admits the community will cowl solely “components” of the concourse and different non-seating areas, the assertion that 5G might be out there “within the bowl seating space” would not specify whether or not 5G will attain all or a few of the seats. We despatched the Verizon spokesperson follow-up emails on Wednesday and Thursday asking whether or not all the seats will lined by Verizon 5G however acquired no response.

In the meantime, Verizon issued a 5G/Tremendous Bowl press launch Friday, claiming that “5G is altering all the things” and that “5G constructed proper has the potential to remodel the way in which followers expertise soccer and different leisure content material.” Verizon stated it has spent greater than $80 million “to boost its award-winning community to assist the Tremendous Bowl this 12 months.”

“Using the extraordinary pace, throughput, and low latency out there on its 5G Extremely Wideband community, Verizon is working to take sporting experiences to new heights,” Verizon stated. Regardless of these lofty guarantees, the press launch did not say how most of the stadium’s 65,000 seats could have 5G entry.

This seemingly means the 5G community nonetheless cannot cowl the entire stadium. In September, when NFL season started and Verizon was touting 5G service in 13 soccer stadiums together with the one in Miami, the corporate acknowledged that the service would solely be capable to cowl “components” of the seating areas. Verizon instructed us then that it might develop protection inside the services, however 5 months later, it seems that Verizon 5G nonetheless is not able to masking an entire stadium, and Verizon nonetheless will not say how widespread its protection is within the seating areas.

Verizon additionally introduced 5G protection in a number of NBA and NHL arenas in October however acknowledged to Ars on the time that the 5G would solely cowl “sure seating areas.”

Millimeter-wave 5G has restricted attain

This is not shocking, provided that Verizon’s early 5G rollout depends on millimeter-wave indicators that do not journey far and are simply blocked by partitions and different obstacles. Whereas 5G will also be deployed on the decrease frequencies utilized by 4G, Verizon has stated that 5G will solely carry huge pace will increase on increased frequencies. Verizon confirmed to Ars that its 5G community within the Miami stadium makes use of millimeter-wave frequencies.

T-Cellular stated its 5G protection—utilizing each low-band and millimeter-wave spectrum—is much extra in depth than Verizon’s within the space surrounding the stadium in Miami. T-Cellular additionally stated it has deployed millimeter-wave 5G within the “decrease bowl” on the stadium, however it appears that evidently Tremendous Bowl attendees usually tend to profit from enhancements to T-Cellular’s 4G LTE community.

“T-Cellular greater than doubled LTE capability at Laborious Rock Stadium so clients can stream, tweet, submit, and chat about each huge second from the sport,” the provider stated.

AT&T additionally stated it has some 5G protection on the stadium in Miami. However like T-Cellular, AT&T’s announcement acquired extra particular when speaking about its 4G protection. Because of upgrades to its distributed antenna system at Laborious Rock Stadium over the previous few months, AT&T stated it now “present[s] over 300 p.c extra LTE capability than what was out there firstly of the soccer season.”

Dash stated it can supply “4G/5G twin connectivity inside the stadium, transmitting 4G over a state-of-the-art distributed antenna system with greater than 1,800 antennas and 5G by way of Huge MIMO radios.”

About Jon Brodkin

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