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NBA All-Star Game gets 5G and metaverse enhancements

AT&T will show how technology can transform in-venue and at-home experience.

17 February 2022 Steve McCaskill
NBA All-Star Game gets 5G and metaverse enhancements


  • NBA All-Star Game celebrates league’s 75th anniversary
  • AT&T is official 5G innovation partner
  • Fans can access live streams and metaverse platfrom

US mobile operator AT&T is to deploy a range of 5G-enabled applications and metaverse experiences during the upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game, demonstrating how next-generation networks and technologies can aid fan engagement and broadcasts.

5G networks offer significant speed, capacity, and latency advantages over previous generations of mobile connectivity, unlocking a raft of fan engagement, in-venue, broadcasting, and operational use cases for the sports industry.

AT&T is the ‘official 5G innovation partner’ of the league and will use the 75th All Star Game at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio as a showcase for how 5G can improve sporting experiences for both fans in the arena and at home.

Headlining the experiences is an invitation for fans to ‘enter the metaverse’ using AT&T’s Playmaker application. Visitors to the NBA Crossover event in the city will receive a 3D body scan so they can customise an avatar for use in digital environments, including one of five All Star-themed augmented reality (AR) playgrounds.

The Playmaker app will also be accessible to fans at home, with the playgrounds allowing users to recreate some of LeBron James’ most famous dunks.

TNT’s broadcast of the game in the US will be enhanced by 5G-enabled 360-degree views that combine 100 different cameras, as well as holographic technology for interview. Meanwhile, the pre-game concert featuring musician Jack Harlow will be made available via AT&T’s Concert Lens service, which lets viewers pick their own camera angles.

“AT&T will once again innovate around NBA All-Star to showcase their top technologies, bringing immersive experiences to life for fans who will be in Cleveland and those around the world who will be tuning in to various All-Star events that AT&T is enhancing,” said Tara Mulcahy, senior vice president, marketing partnerships and media at the NBA.

“AT&T will not only leverage 5G technology to deliver memorable experiences, but this NBA All-Star will also be another opportunity for AT&T to showcase its authentic community-driven commitments within Cleveland and the [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] community.”

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