Basketball fans can get closer to the action with Verizon's new 5G immersion experience

15 NBA teams will begin harnessing 5G Ultra Wideband tech to enhance the games, delivering stats and real-time info directly to fans, the company announced Thursday.

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Image: Verizon

As sports fans have adjusted to restricted access to live events, one result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the chance to return to stadiums and watch games firsthand is a welcome experience. And in a new announcement on Thursday, Verizon is offering its own contribution to the fan experience: 5G Ultra Wideband technology that can improve the entire experience of attending large-scale events.

So what exactly does this mean for basketball fans? Now, for 15 NBA teams, they are able to point 5G phones toward a player of interest to learn more information about him—such as the percentage of free throws made, or the number of steals—as well as critical, real-time information about the game, including scoring and overtime. Additionally, the new tech can contribute to improved public safety, access, concessions and crowd management, according to the news release. This is made possible partly because of the speedy Wi-Fi connections, up to 4Gbps, which give fans the chance to stream and download data more easily. Currently being tested at the Phoenix Suns practice facility, ShotTracker is a sensor-based technology that helps automate player's shot information in real time.

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"As fans return to live events, the need to reimagine the in-arena experience and operations has accelerated and 5G Ultra Wideband is a critical component," said Brian Mecum, vice president of device technology for Verizon, in a press release. "The deployment of 5G in these arenas is the foundation for unlocking future fan experiences and solutions for venue operations."

This announcement is part of a bigger effort by Verizon to expand its 5G Ultra Wideband, which is currently offered in more than 70 cities, 11 airports, and more than 60 large-scale arenas and stadiums. As mobile giants T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon position themselves in the battle to win 5G customers, Verizon hopes to show off its own capabilities to fans. 

Here are the stadiums enabled with 5G Ultra Wideband:

  • Cleveland Cavaliers - Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
  • Denver Nuggets - Ball Arena
  • Detroit Pistons - Little Caesars Arena
  • Golden State Warriors - Chase Center
  • LA Clippers
  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • Memphis Grizzlies - FedExForum
  • New York Knicks - Madison Square Garden
  • Oklahoma City Thunder - Chesapeake Energy Arena
  • Phoenix Suns - Phoenix Suns Arena
  • Portland Trail Blazers - Moda Center
  • Sacramento Kings - Golden 1 Center
  • Utah Jazz - Vivint Arena
  • Washington Wizards - Capital One Arena

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