With the countdown clock now firmly showing less than 365 days to go until the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in South Korea, the organising committee is well underway with preparations to make it one of the most advanced Winter Olympic Games in history. As part of the preparations, KT, formerly Korea Telecom, is all set to deploy a 5G network to enable some unique experiences – including full 360° VR views of the action, as well as a 5G autonomous bus.
As far as networking technology goes, 5G is expected to be a game-changer. It’s ultra-low latency enables scenarios that were never possible before, while its connection speed is blisteringly fast. Despite the promises, 5G has thus far not been widely deployed – instead it’s been limited to controlled testing environments.
Despite the current infancy of the technology, KT executive vice president, HongBeom Jeon, is confident the network can deploy the network successfully at the PyeongChang Olympics. At the Brooklyn 5G Summit he revealed that the systems and services should be deployed in the region by October this year.
Currently not a single mobile device supports the 5G networking standard, although the network is hoping to change that ahead of the Olympic Games. The operator is said to be working closely with its hardware partners, but has thus far not revealed any details.
The deployment at the PyeongChang Olympics will only be a pilot, although it’ll be the first in the world to use the 28GHz band. The service will be a pre-commercial test, although the company will be giving attendees the opportunity to experience a wide range of experiences that are enabled by the networking technology. Experiences include Omni Focus (multi-view streaming), Time Slice (multi-view videos) and Sync View (athlete view).
KT has already showcased how it plans to use the technology, with the compay debuting ‘Bobsleigh Sink View’ in December, which allowed bobsleigh races to be televised live using a tiny camera attached to the helmets of the athletes going 150km/h.
The ‘Time Slice’ service is designed to display 3D still videos captured at a variety of angles on athletes, as well as ‘Hologram Live’, a service designed to make spectators feel closer to athletes.
The PyeongChang Olympics will be massive task for AV integrators, with cameras set to be mounted at various points around the Olympic stadiums, including the cross-country ski course, where there will be video streaming with at several positions around the area.
Streaming video may be the biggest aspect of the PyeongChang Olympics, although there will also be an autonomous bus for shuttling people around the games. The ‘5G Bus’ won’t just be a way to showcase autonomous technology, however. That’s because it will also be equipped with antennas and links for showing multimedia services inside the bus. This field-trial uses video-streaming transmission in a moving environment that requires handovers.