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Verizon secretly performed 5G test at Super Bowl LII

At Super Bowl LII, Verizon was secretly performing stress tests on a temporary 5G network. This comes right after a previous test they performed using football players in virtual reality headsets.

Published onFebruary 5, 2018

  • Verizon set up a temporary (and secret) 5G network at Super Bowl LII.
  • Using the 5G network, guests were able to watch high-resolution streams of instant replays.
  • Meanwhile, in New York City, engineers were able to view a stereoscopic 180-degree video of the game in nearly real time.

While Philadelphia Eagles fans were cheering on their winning team at yesterday’s Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Verizon was secretly testing out 5G network speeds in the same arena.

The nation’s largest telecommunications provider set up a temporary 5G network in the stadium well before the big game began. The company then set to work on stress-testing the network using high-resolution video and virtual reality.

Engineers in New York City at Alley, Powered by Verizon were able to view a stereoscopic 180-degree live video of the game as it progressed, streamed exclusively over the 5G network. Meanwhile, Verizon employees and their guests at the game were able to watch high-resolution instant replays of highlights on secondary screens, once again powered by 5G.

Sanyogita Shamsunder, the Executive Director of 5G Ecosystems and Innovation at Verizon, said, “This latest demonstration at Super Bowl LII and in New York City is another example of how we’re pushing 5G to exploit never-before-imagined uses cases and applications.”

This is not the first time Verizon has used football to demonstrate the power of 5G. A few days earlier, two football players in virtual reality headsets were able to pass a football and complete plays without ever physically looking at each other. The 5G network their helmets were connected to was so fast that the milliseconds of latency didn’t affect their ability to interact in nearly real time.

There’s currently an arms race going on between the four major telecommunications companies in the United States, for which will be the first to roll out a commercial 5G network. What does this show of 5G power say about Big Red’s stakes in the race?

You can watch Verizon’s virtual reality football helmet demonstration here:

What do you think of Verizon’s test, and are you excited for 5G? Let us know in the comments.

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