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Bundesliga eyes next-generation mobile experience

By Zhong Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-03-09 16:09

Selected audience members experience 5G application during a Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sept 22, 2019. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The DFL Deutsche Football League, or the German Football League, plans to introduce next-generation mobile experience – enabled by 5G – for soccer fans all over the world, including China, to build a better foundation in fostering the development and application of new technologies and innovations such as artificial intelligence and extended reality.

Technologies are only as good as the application possibilities that emerge from them, said Andreas Heyden, executive vice-president of Digital Innovations at the DFL Group.

"The DFL is continuously advancing new technologies to provide additional possibilities to fans in the stadium and in front of screens," he said, adding the league and its partners are connecting 5G and real-time information. Breakthroughs like the first testing of 5G inspire and motivate them to keep driving innovation efforts in the years to come.

The DFL and Vodafone activated the 5G infrastructure in the Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, in the Bundesliga match - Germany's premier soccer competition, between VfL Wolfsburg and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sept 22, 2019.

Through this, the Bundesliga became the first league in the world to roll out a fan engagement technology based on the next-generation 5G network.

For the first time, selected guests in the stadium were also able to test the prototype of the new real-time app that Vodafone and the DFL are developing for optimized use in the 5G network. With the app, spectators at the stadium receive, among other things, match statistics and the players' individual values directly on the display of their smartphones.

DFL will introduce its latest innovations of building next-generation mobile experience on SportsInnovation 2020, a technology and industry trade fair for high-performance sports, held in Dusseldorf, Germany, from March 25 to 26.

Experts believe through 5G as a base technology, Germany's Bundesliga will be able to profoundly change media consumption and the stadium experience, creating mixed reality environments and making the game more accessible to viewers around the world, allowing them to experience the electric atmospheres of the Bundesliga's world-class stadiums.

"China's fast growing 5G technology infrastructure, artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital-related business environment, as well as people's willingness to connect with various products via digital applications, are creating many opportunities," said Sun Fuquan, a researcher at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.

He said the digital experience economy will create huge market opportunities for China and the other parts of the world, as technology has profoundly affected consumer behavior and raised the expectations of potential customers.

The term digital experience economy refers to a broad range of economic activities that drive systematic changes in all industries through digital transformation, with data as the key production factor and next-generation information technology as the cornerstone, according to the Beijing-based academy.

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