5G Mobile Edge Computing: Redefining the Sports Experience
This research paper is being published in partnership with Intel Corporation
Editor’s Note: Chetan Sharma Consulting has been doing extensive work in the field on 5G and Edge Computing for the past 5 years. We will be discussing 5G & Edge Computing in-depth at our upcoming Mobile Future Forward Summit – technology, business models, economics, use cases, and revenue streams.
We live in unprecedented times. The pace of change in technology evolution has picked up tremendously over the last few years. The coming together of some critical technology trends are enabling the possibility of a future full of promise to tackle new computing and communications problems. 5G is no longer a buzzword but a reality at the doorsteps of enterprise and consumer growth. The step change in capabilities is allowing engineers and product managers to envision new experiences to shape the human engagement. Tremendous leaps in computing power at the edge of the network are making what seemed like a herculean task, possible. Artificial Intelligence is allowing for systems to learn from data and help algorithms architect new ways to manage and route terabytes of data in real-time.
History has proven that when new capabilities are introduced into the market, entrepreneurs use the platform to create new user experiences, new products, new alliances, and new revenue streams. The current cycle of 4G network evolution has proven this multiple times. The advent of smartphones and LTE gave birth to Uber, Google and Facebook Video Advertising, as well as Alibaba and Tencent’s rise as China’s technology giants. The impact of 4G has been so profound that the digital ecosystem is worth much more than the 4G platform that enabled it. We expect the same will be true with 5G. In fact, the new capabilities being introduced in 5G such as Ultra Low Latency, Very High Bandwidth availability, Network Slicing, Dense IoT deployments are going to become powerful tools in the hands of developers.
Many don’t realize that the nature of computing is changing itself. We go through the generational cycles of centralized and decentralized computing. We are seeing a collision in different technology growth curves that is creating unique opportunities in Edge Computing. The data demand and need for really fast processing is necessitating the desire to explore new opportunities at the edge. As a result, the role of end-nodes in how they shape the applications and services can be quite disruptive.
We can think about the new environment as distinct functions of hardware, software, and data. Each capability is modular enough to invite 3rd party developers to innovate on the underlying platform to create new use cases and revenue streams. For example, VR streaming in a stadium can put fans right in the middle of the experience. The ability to manipulate the viewing angles or follow the eyes of a specific athlete can provide unprecedented entertainment value. Furthermore, the data stream can be analyzed in real time and new forms of software and intelligence can be applied to extract knowledge which can be fed into different applications and services across different verticals. Each has its own business model and SLAs.
This paper delves into 5G Edge Computing and the use cases it enables. We will go further into discussing one such use case – Smart Venues. 5G will enable new experiences in stadiums and venues. But what does it take to pull it together? What are the application requirements going to be? What applications and services will such an infrastructure enable? How are venue owners looking at this opportunity? How can the data flows be managed and optimized?
Stadiums provide one of the most challenging operational environments – thousands of fans all connecting in real-time to content, data, and people; they want to maximize their experience while they are there, they want to minimize disruptions and have little tolerance for poor computing or network performance. There are few things that test the network like Live TV. Trying to do anything with video in real-time requires seamless cooperation between network, computing, and data resources. As such, stadiums will stretch the technology infrastructure and specifications to the limit and provide invaluable lessons. Lessons from Edge Computing in smart stadiums will also provide a blueprint for more applications and services in other industries and domains.