FC Barcelona's Nou Camp will be 'first' 5G stadium

(Image Credit: Tukewood Media)

The iconic Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona, is to become the world’s first stadium with dedicated 5G coverage.

The club is partnering with Spanish operator Telefonica to bring permanent 5G coverage to the pitch and the stands, with both parties using the network to test out immersive content experiences that can deliver the stadium experience to its global fan base.

Although Barcelona is symbol of Catalan identity, it has a global fan base and many supporters will never step foot in the stadium.

Nou Camp 5G

The club competes with great rival Real Madrid and other major European teams to secure followers on social media and on web platforms and believes 5G can boost engagement.

The 5G network uses Telefonica’s licensed spectrum and Ericsson’s commercial equipment, boosting broadcasting capacity from 30Mbps to 200Mbps. Combined with the low latency and edge computing capabilities of 5G, this makes it possible to create 360-degree video in 4K quality that can be used on social channels and on official applications.

Barcelona has used previous editions of Mobile World Congress (MWC) to detail other digital initiatives, such as innovation hub, and marked the partnership by transmitting a live training session and a stadium tour to the exhibition.

"For FC Barcelona it is a great pride that the Camp Nou is the first football stadium with 5G internal coverage,” said Josep Maria Bartomeu.

“The Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe, which can accommodate more than 90,000 spectators and when the Espai Barça [the club’s stadium redevelopment project] is a reality will have capacity for 105,000. Thanks to the agreement between FC Barcelona and GSMA, with the participation of Telefónica, we have set the Camp Nou as an innovation laboratory at the disposal of the most advanced technology in mobile telephony, the 5G.”

5G networks will bring ultrafast speeds, greater capacity and ultra-low latency, with stadiums expected to benefit greatly because of the large volume of users consuming data-intensive applications in such a small area.

  • MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting live from Barcelona all week to bring you the very latest from the show floor. Head to our dedicated MWC 2019 hub to see all the new releases, along with TechRadar's world-class analysis and buying advice about your next phone.  

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.