Portugal’s First 5G-Enabled Stadiums Upgrade Coverage With TVU

TVU equipment was used over 5G networks in Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade stadiums to supply additional camera angles, a live holographic interview and smartphone-generated sports coverage. (Image credit: Ibertelco)

LISBON, Portugal—At Ibertelco, where we provide the Portuguese media market with equipment, turnkey solutions and services, we firmly believe in the capabilities of 5G and the enhancements it brings with it, particularly when it comes to live sports coverage. 

With 5G, the network capacity can handle a far greater volume of data within the stadium, which provides a superior experience to fans in the stands and those watching from home. Those in the stands can choose the angle from which to see the game or activate one of the broadcast cameras, among other more immersive activities. 

One high-profile 5G sports project occurred in the spring of 2021 when our customer, Portuguese telco provider NOS was asked to supply Portugal’s first 5G-enabled stadiums—Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade—with video-over-IP delivery solutions.

NOS equipped both stadiums with full 5G communications infrastructure and technologies from TVU Networks were used to supply additional camera angles, live holographic interviews, and smartphone-generated sports coverage at these 5G-enabled stadiums. 

5G Tech Support
With TVU Networks, we’ve found a partner that can provide the level of transmission reliability over IP and technical support required for large-scale broadband innovation. For the recent 5G stadium application, we selected four TVU One 5G mobile transmitters and three 5G mobile phones with the TVU Anywhere app to deliver live, high-definition, 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. 

In addition to its typical 18-camera coverage, Portuguese broadcaster Benfica TV (BTV) added seven 5G feeds to its May 6th 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; a walkway at the top of the stadium; the tunnel from the locker rooms to the field, and beside player benches. 

During the game in which Sporting CP won the title of champion of Liga NOS on May 11 at Estádio José Alvalade, Portuguese broadcaster TVI employed its own unique application of NOS 5G with a post-game roaming reporter and holographic player interview. 

Holographic Images
Social media influencer Guilherme Geirinhas covered Sporting CP’s celebration after winning the league title using the TVU Anywhere app on his phone and a TVU One wireless video transmitter. Signals from the reporter’s phone were sent to a TVU transceiver at an OB van on site for live 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. 

The strengthened aggregated cellular connections, sub-second latency and increased signal quality of TVU Networks’ technology means our customers can meet the full potential of live video coverage over a 5G infrastructure. 

Ricardo Silva is based in Lisbon and serves as the presales/sales manager and project manager for Ibertelco. Founded in 1997, Ibertelco is the leading AV/media Solutions provider for the Portuguese media and entertainment market and a TVU Partner in the region. More information on the company can be found at www.ibertelco.com/. Ricardo Silva can be reached at ricardo.n.silva@ibertelco.pt

For more information on TVU Networks, visit www.tvunetworks.com.

Project Manager, Ibertelco

Ricardo Silva is Project Manager for Ibertelco.