LA tipped for tech-fuelled Covid-19 recovery - Mobile World Live

LA tipped for tech-fuelled Covid-19 recovery

28 OCT 2020

GSMA THRIVE NORTH AMERICA: Executives from sport, air travel and entertainment sectors in Los Angeles backed their respective industries to recover from Covid-19 (coronavirus), highlighting the role 5G and technology would play when fans and travellers are able to get back to normal.

Representatives from basketball team LA Clippers, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and LA’s Sports and Entertainment Commission spoke to Boingo Wireless CEO Mike Finley in a keynote about their post pandemic plans and how they had adapted business models in light of the recent disruption.

Justin Erbacci, CEO of LAWA (pictured) said it recently embarked on a $14.5 billion investment programme to improve facilities at its airports, which include LAX and Van Nuys, with technology playing a major role.

He said the pandemic and resulting slowdown in passenger traffic had helped “accelerate some of the construction at LAX”, and it was now looking at many different types of technologies as possible to help make the passengers journeys “faster, easier and safer”.

“We were the first ones to deploy biometric for boarding aeroplanes in our international terminals. We’re also conducting a pilot right now with common use backdrop, allowing passengers to tag their bag without having to interact with people. And this is also using biometrics for identity verification. We are also trying to use biometrics and other types of technologies throughout the process to allow for a faster journey.”

Finley also noted Covid-19 had created disruptions, but was “also enabling progress to come faster in some cases”.

Sporting experience
Kathryn Schloessman, president and CEO of the Sports and Entertainment Commission, discussed the city’s plans to host major future sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup and the NFL Super Bowl, with 5G to be “front and centre” in “powering the live event experience”.

Schloessman said the NFL’s recently opened SoFI Stadium would be an example of exactly what future experiences technology could offer.

“The best preview of what to expect is what you’re going to see at SoFi Stadium. When we all can finally attend games and events, the stadium is state of the art and will be the example of what other buildings will try to follow and improve on.”

Gillian Zucker, president of business operations at LA Clippers, spoke of the NBA’s experience in dealing with the “unprecedented” Covid-19 situation, and establishing a mini bubble to get its season completed.



Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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