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5G comes to the NFL

Alexis Christoforous
·2 mins read

The NFL season kicks off tonight, and Verizon Communications (VZ) is making it easier to get into the game.

The largest U.S. wireless carrier is launching 5G Ultra Wideband service in 13 football stadiums, including: Bank of America Stadium, Broncos Stadium at Mile High, CenturyLink Field, Ford Field, Gillette Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, MetLife Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, NRG Stadium, Soldier Field and U.S. Bank Stadium.

“For fans and workers alike in these stadiums, it really can be a game-changing experience,” Tami Erwin, Verizon Business Group CEO, tells Yahoo Finance.

“They’ll see much lower latency, they’ll see much faster speeds. We’re seeing speeds of 1.5 gigabits per second, so very, very rapid speeds.”

In addition to improving operations and connectivity, Verizon’s exclusive two-year agreement with the National Football League also promises to make the sport more engaging for fans by offering 5G-enhanced live NFL games for mobile phones, in-stadium video feeds and multi-angle camera positions for home viewers.

“We expect the impact on the sports entertainment industry to be massive – it will revolutionize the entire game-day experience for fans,” Verizon Communications CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement.

The high-speed, high-capacity networks will also allow fans to get real-time data and watch replays from their seats, on their mobile devices.

FILE - In this May 22, 2019, file photo, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during the NFL football owners meeting in Key Biscayne, Fla. The NFL would love the main focus of 2019 to be on the celebrations of its 100th season. After an egregious missed penalty (or two) that basically kept the Saints from making the Super Bowl and helped the Rams get there instead, there was little chance attention could be diverted from the guys with the whistles and their impact on games. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks to the media during the NFL football owners meeting in Key Biscayne, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

“If you deliver the right experience for our fans, the revenue will follow,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview.

“As we celebrate the NFL’s 100th season, we also look to the next 100 years and working with Verizon to bring 5G Ultra Wideband service to stadiums across the NFL is a key step in how our fans will experience our game in the future,” he said.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. Verizon Communications (VZ) is the parent company of Yahoo Finance.

Erwin expects to expand these 5G services beyond football stadiums to also include NBA stadiums, though she did not offer specifics.

Verizon is in a race with AT&T (T) and T-Mobile (TMUS) to turn 5G technology into a revenue-producing part of their business.

If you have a Verizon 5G phone, you can currently get service in 10 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Phoenix.

Erwin says Verizon is on track to have its 5G Ultra Wideband in 30 cities by the end of 2019, including Boston, Dallas and San Diego.

Alexis Christoforous is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance’s “The First Trade.” Follow her on Twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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