Telefónica Taps Haivision for Drone Coverage of 2022 Spain Sail Grand Prix

(Image credit: Telefónica)

MONTREAL—Haivision Systems Inc. has announced that Telefónica deployed Haivision Air mobile transmitters for a 5G-powered drone proof of concept during the Spain Sail Grand Prix on September 24-25, 2022.  

In its third season, the SailGP international sailing competition has amassed a global viewership of more than 64.5 million. For past broadcasts, SailGP’s live productions have relied on aerial cameras on helicopters, which have created a few challenges including high energy consumption, high cost of operating manned aircraft, and disruption to the competition environment. 

In a proof of concept, the Telefónica 5G Customer Innovation team introduced a new way to improve the live production by testing drone-based video contribution over 5G, the companies said. 

Telefónica has been testing the Haivision solutions with its 5G network and selected the Haivision Air320 wireless transmitter to contribute live video from professional drones at the event. Telefónica’s 5G standalone network core and 5G new radio transmitters were able to provide guaranteed performance levels, and the entire workflow was supported by the Haivision StreamHub receiver, transcoder, and decoder platform using the Emmy award-winning Safe Streams Transport (SST) protocol. In this broadcast scenario, the ultra-portable and battery-operated Haivision Air320 mobile transmitters delivered ultra-low latency, an essential feature for live sports broadcasting, the companies explained. 

“The main criterion for the project was that we work with a collaborative partner to build an ecosystem where we all find new opportunities – for us, that absolutely was Haivision,” said Juan Cambeiro, a leader of the 5G Customer Innovation team at Telefónica. “The Haivision Air itself was a clear choice, having already been battle tested by our team in other scenarios. Equipped with the latest generation cellular connectivity, the compact live video transmitter offered the flexibility needed for this proof of concept.”  

“Customer success and innovation is at the heart of what we do at Haivision,” said Ronan Poullaouec, vice president of engineering, remote and wireless systems, Haivision. "Our collaborative relationship with Telefónica has allowed both parties to experiment with next-generation technologies in real-world use cases to ultimately deliver high performance, low latency live video contribution.” 

5G-enabled mobile transmitters offer reliable ways for live broadcasters to harness low latency transmission with confidence, reduce costs, and deliver more immersive audience experiences. For more information about Haivision mobile transmitter solutions, visit 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.