The next big thing in telecommunications is 5G but, up until now, consumer applications haven’t been forthcoming.

We’ve seen the benefits of a low latency connection with acres of capacity at an enterprise and mission-critical level but the benefits of 5G for the consumer has been hard to explain.

That changes this weekend at the Vodacom Durban July where Vodacom and Nokia will showcase the wonders of 5G to the public.

What is Vodacom doing? Streaming the race in 360 degrees at 4K.

To give you an idea of what sort of bandwidth that takes, Netflix advises you have a minimum download speed of 25Mbps to stream 4K content. Add 360 video on top of that and you’re talking about some intense bandwidth usage.

Two cameras will be setup at Greyville racecourse and guests at the July can head to the Vodacom hospitality suite and experience the race in VR.

“The first camera has been positioned in the Parade Ring, which will enable guests at the Vodacom hospitality suite to have a live, virtual view of the horses as they are paraded before each race. The second camera has been positioned at the finish line, and will enable guests to watch the action packed finish of each race in VR, as if they were at the finish line themselves. The images from the cameras will be streamed in real time over a Nokia Airscale 5G base station, and uses 100 MHz of Vodacom’s own spectrum in the 28 GHz frequency band,” says Vodacom.

But wait, there’s more

While 5G seems like a successor to 4G it is so much more and the best way to explain it is to actually experience the latency difference.

To demonstrate this Vodacom and Nokia will set up a VR penalty shootout. Guests will be shown the difference in latency on 4G and 5G networks.

Where 4G can have a latency of 30ms depending on your location and distance to the server, 5G latency has been shown to be as low as 1ms.

What better way to showcase this than with reaction times in the most talked about sport at the moment.

“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,” explains chief technology officer at Vodacom, Andries Delport.

This showcase is really smart and we have to give Vodacom credit for thinking of a fun way to make 5G more accessible to folks that don’t understand the technical details.

We’re actually sad that we won’t be attending the July now.


[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.