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LA Lakers among 15 NBA teams to strike 5G deal with Verizon

Company's ultrafast network now deployed at more than 60 stadiums and venues.

21 May 2021 Sam Carp
  • Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards also team up with Verizon
  • NBA partnerships come as Verizon trials new immersive experience at New Jersey Devils game

Telecommunications giant Verizon has announced that its 5G network has now been deployed at more than 60 stadiums and arenas after signing multi-year agreements to become the exclusive 5G partner of 15 National Basketball Association (NBA) teams.

The company’s 5G Ultra Wideband network will enable the franchises to provide their fans with more immersive experiences and allow arenas to use next-gen solutions for operational purposes around public safety, access, concessions and crowd management. 

The 15 NBA teams that have added Verizon’s 5G technology at their arenas are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, LA Clippers,  Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.

“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. “The deployment of 5G in these arenas is the foundation for unlocking future fan experiences and solutions for venue operations.”

News of the company’s new NBA partnerships came as Verizon revealed that it has been testing how its 5G Ultra Wideband can give ice hockey fans real-time player stats when they point their phone at the action in the rink.

Verizon, which is a partner of the National Hockey League (NHL), trialled the AR fan experience during a New Jersey Devils game at the Prudential Center.

Using Arise, which is immersive.io’s augmented reality (AR) application, and Verizon’s 5G Edge computing platform, testers were able to point their 5G device at any player on the ice and see real-time stats overlaid in AR, including player speed, time on the ice and historical stats.

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