Revolutionizing the fan experience: the role of esport in developing future-proofed connectivity in the UK

The Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition has granted over £5.7 million to the Stadium of Light and the British Esports National Esports Performance Campus in Sunderland to revolutionize the way people experience live sports and esports at these locations and beyond.

Teenage Girl Wearing Headset Gaming At Home Using Dual Computer Screens

The Sunderland Open Network Ecosystem (SONET) Project has secured grant funding of over £5.7 million as part of a £88 million Open Networks Ecosystem (ONE) competition. The SONET Project aims to utilise next-generation technology, particularly 5G connectivity, to enhance fan interactions and provide a more immersive experience in live events and esports tournaments. The high-speed connectivity offered by 5G enables seamless live streaming and interactivity. Fans will be able to engage with real-time statistics, augmented reality enhancements, and virtual meet-and-greets with their favourite players. In addition to enhancing fan experiences, the SONET Project also aligns with Sunderland’s smart city infrastructure and aims to reduce power consumption, contributing to the city’s drive towards net zero.

Why does it matter?

The grant funding for the SONET Project is part of the Government’s Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology’s £250 million Open Networks R&D Fund. This fund aims to address the key barriers hindering the adoption of open mobile networks. Therefore, it is expected that the success of the ONE competition will go beyond the developments in Sunderland’s sports and entertainment venues. A total of 19 projects have been selected to demonstrate the reliability and feasibility of Open Radio Access Network (RAN) technologies. These technologies are crucial in delivering resilient and future-proofed connectivity to UK citizens and businesses.