Ericsson, Tele2 shake it off with 5G in Sweden for Taylor Swift –

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As the Taylor Swift juggernaut rolls into to the UK to begin a series of sold-out stadium dates, venue regions across the country are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of substantial financial gains, and fans’ mobile comms expectations for the various venues is driving providers to reach higher notes.

Around 150,000 fans from 130 countries joined in for the three-day series of concerts at the Friends Arena in Stockholm. For the Swedish leg of the Eras Tour in May 2024, the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce expects visitors to have spent more than €40m during the days of the concerts.

Moreover, research from comms tech provider Ericsson calculates that arena venues are seeing a 67% growth in data usage year over year, noting that fans in stadiums now demand high-performance, robust and reliable mobile coverage to share, interact and stream content. This represents a major opportunity for service providers to deliver enhanced networks to ensure their subscribers are well connected. Indeed, Ericsson research calculated that the smart stadium market is projected to increase in value from €13.1bn in 2023 to €31.7bn by 2028.

Ericsson research has also revealed that a significant influence on consumers’ decisions to switch service provider is the 5G experience in critical locations, such as stadiums and arenas. Fans who face issues at event venues were found to be three times more likely to switch within six months.

Additionally, Ericsson said stakeholders across a stadium ecosystem can benefit from improved connectivity, such as infrastructure managers, sports teams, athletes, as well as supporting consumer services such as mobile ticketing, finding travel routes and booking taxis.

The company also observed that the Eras Tour represented a prime example of huge numbers of people gathering in a relatively small physical area, with skyrocketing demand for mobile connectivity. Ericsson believes 5G can meet this demand, offering a platform that transforms the traditional live event into a richer fan experience.

Local operator Tele2 said that in time for one of the largest concerts in Swedish history at the National Arena Stockholm, it was able to give fans the perfect opportunity to experience the difference 5G connectivity offers, in what it called a milestone roll-out in Swedish stadiums. To provide the required high-performance connectivity for subscribers to effectively share videos, photos and other multimedia, Tele2 upgraded the Swedish national arena with a mobile infrastructure based on Ericsson 5G technology.

The ongoing 5G upgrade consists of Ericsson’s 5G technology on new frequency bands, including the 3.5GHz 5G mid-band. The network used Massive MIMO AIR 6419 with optimal Multi-User MIMO technologies to ensure Tele2 could provide maximum network performance during events.

“With the expansion of 5G into arenas, we’re propelling forward on our quest to deliver the best 5G, enhancing connectivity and unlocking new possibilities for all, including concerts with over 50,000 attendees,” said Tele2 executive vice-president and chief technology innovation officer Yogesh Malik. “This strategic move is one further step on our mission to delivering the ultimate 5G experience with the best energy efficiency, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to continue pushing boundaries.”

Ericsson remarked that the roll-out of 5G at the Friends Arena represented a “significant leap forward” in enhancing fan experiences and unlocking new opportunities for innovation in the entertainment and sports industry.

“Upgrading the arena with 5G enhances the fan experience and allows for new features of sharing and co-creating live entertainment that merge the physical and digital world, yet to be fully explored,” said Ericsson head of customer unit for Northern and Central Europe Nora Wahby. “The high-speed, low-latency capacity can support the full entertainment infrastructure such as cost-effective TV broadcasts and live streaming, instant control of sound and lighting, in addition to enhancing the live fan experience.”

Tele2 and Ericsson said that going forward, they remain committed to delivering 5G offerings that redefine the way fans engage with live events, setting a new standard for immersive, connected experiences.

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