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Verizon Partners with Dignitas to Leverage 5G in Esports

Verizon Communications Inc. VZ recently announced that it has teamed up with Dignitas to deploy best-in-class reliable and secured low-latency 5G technology for the nation’s 5G Gaming Center in Los Angeles. The alliance marks the latest endeavor in Verizon's 5G push for player-to-fan connectivity through real-time live-streaming gameplay in the studio and on the go.

Based in Newark, NJ, Dignitas is a professional esports organization that boasts streamlined infrastructure and player content studios in China, Europe, Los Angeles and New York City. Acquired by NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers in 2016, Dignitas is the subsidiary of New Meta Entertainment, a digital sports and entertainment company, which operates in three primary verticals — esports teams, investments and, content and marketing.

Dedicated to esports athletes, the organization is best known for its five largest and most popular games — Clash Royale, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros and Rocket League.

Verizon 5G Gaming Center is a 5,500-square-foot training facility located at Verizon’s 5G Lab. Markedly, the 5G lab is an innovative platform wherein the tech giant collaborates with academia, startups and established companies to co-create 5G concepts and develop avant-garde applications and hardware to trial them on pre-commercial 5G network. It explores various use cases that will benefit from 5G's high Internet speeds and massive bandwidth with ultra-low latency networks.

Per the deal, Dignitas’ 2019 World Championship-qualifying team will exclusively practice in the state-of-the-art training facility for the League Championship Series, which commenced from Jan 25 in Los Angeles. Also serving as an abode for its League of Legends teams, the esports company will be responsible for leveraging Verizon’s 5G technology for the enhancement of real-time analytics, fan engagement and player performance, thereby offering seamless sporting experiences.

In 2018, Verizon exhibited multi-stream immersive virtual reality experience over 5G for live in-stadium game action. These experiences show how 5G will provide fans with more engrossing live game experience in stadiums or even at home.

Verizon is seeking competitive edge in a saturated and price-sensitive market, which includes major players like AT&T Inc. T and T-Mobile US, Inc. TMUS. The company’s latest move is directed at upping the ante against rivals. This would enable it to promote 5G innovations, backed by customer-focused planning, disciplined engineering and strategic investments. The telecom bellwether aims to retain its lead in next-gen 5G mobile networks with focus on dynamic spectrum sharing, multi-access edge computing and fiber connectivity.

Notably, Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network hinges on three fundamental drivers to deliver the full potential of this breakthrough technology. These are massive spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter wave bands for faster data transfer, end-to-end deep fiber resources and the ability to deploy large numbers of small cells. The network delivers adequate bandwidth and download speed required for applications such as 4K/8K video streaming, VR/AR, mobile workforce, industrial IoT, among others.

Verizon has long-term earnings growth expectation of 3.3%. Driven by healthy momentum in the wireless business, the stock has gained 9.4% compared with the industry’s growth of 15% in the past year.

Zacks Rank & A Key Pick

Verizon currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A top-ranked stock in the broader industry is Splunk Inc. SPLK, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Splunk exceeded estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the positive earnings surprise being 74.3%, on average.

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