LIVE FROM GSMA M360 MOBILE SECURITY AND INDUSTRIES, LONDON: Bosses from innovative global motorsport series Extreme E explained they are assessing the potential of private 5G networks to enhance connectivity with a view to improving safety, fan engagement and access to vehicle telemetry.
MD Ali Russell (pictured, left) and head of broadcast technology Dave Adey (pictured, centre) explained the series stages races in some of the most remote regions of the world and is already consuming more bandwidth than many technologies can provide.
Adey explained the race series turned to Vodafone Business to explore the potential of 5G, noting typical benefits around low-latency and high bandwidth for tasks including retrieving vehicle telemetry and communicating with key personnel.
He noted private networks provide Extreme E with “another chunk of bandwidth”, with proof-of-concept trials focusing on “streaming to medical cars” to inform staff of incidents and potential injuries and even establish “live video chat with our chief medical officer in the paddock” where necessary.
Extreme E has an environmental mission at its core, which is why races take place in remote areas judged to have suffered the greatest damage or impacts of climate change.
Adrian Baschnonga, lead analyst for global technology, media and telecommunications with consultancy EY (pictured, far right) explained the company was tasked with assisting the race series achieve its sustainability goals.
Adey noted technology is being used to achieve the series’ environmental targets and is also essential for fan engagement, because the remote nature of Extreme E races means there is no in-person audience.
The 5G tests open the potential to up Extreme E’s broadcast play, a feat Adey said was achieved with a plug-and-play set-up which could ultimately pave the way for enhancements involving deploying 360-degree cameras “around the course to increase the fan engagement”.
Employing the technology to increase the number of on-site CCTV cameras also has the potential to improve safety by providing the race director with more information, Adey said.
He added improved connectivity will also benefit Extreme E’s overall broadcasting set-up, which he noted is remote and spans multiple locations in a host of European countries.