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Vodacom set to stream 4K Durban July footage live using 5G

Telecommunications network Vodacom will be trialing a 5G 4K video streaming system at the Durban July horseracing event this Saturday.

The network is partnering with Finnish network and smartphone manufacturing firm Nokia to “showcase the future of virtual reality (VR) through two different 5G powered experiences at Africa’s greatest horseracing event”.

While one experience involves a “penalty shootout” demonstrating latency — and will likely set England fans’ nerves on edge all over again — it’s the other use of 5G that is a notable achievement.

The company will use 5G and 4K video cameras surrounding Greyville Racecourse to capture and stream live footage back to the Vodacom hospitality suite. The stream won’t be available online.

“Each of these cameras will broadcast a live, 360 degree feed over 5G back to the Vodacom hospitality suite, where guests can experience the feeds from the racecourse through VR headsets, and be virtually transported into the live scenes from the day’s races,” the company adds in a release.

It’s using 5G in the above case due to lower latency and higher bandwidth potential.

This, Vodacom believes, is one particularly notable use case for 5G on the African continent.

“Our future will be characterised by a range of new technologies that are fusing our physical and digital worlds. Robotics and super-realistic virtual & augmented reality are characteristic of this era. These new technologies require the high speed and low latency that only a 5G network can deliver,” notes Andries Delport, Vodacom’s CTO.

“Mobile networks such as 5G and beyond will become the basis of how people, vehicles and homes will communicate. This is why Vodacom has embarked on ensuring its mobile network is ready and available to support this technology, when we are allocated the necessary spectrum by government.”

The horserace, which is set to attract some 50 000 people this year, will be run on Saturday 7 July 2018.

Feature image: supplied, Vodacom

Author | Andy Walker: Editor

Andy Walker: Editor
Camper by day, run-and-gunner by night, Andy prefers his toast like his coffee -- dark and crunchy. Specialising in spotting the next big Instagram cat star, Andy also dabbles in smartphone, gadget and game reviews over on Gearburn. More

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