Elisa uses 5G to stream largest Nordic orienteering event

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Live broadcasts of sports events will reach a new level with the spread of 5G network. The Finnish digital service provider Elisa becomes the first to use the 5G network to stream the largest orienteering event in the Nordics to the public. With the help of the 5G network and smartphones, it is possible to follow the progress of the top competitors even from the edges of the competition area, where traditional connections do not reach.

Jukola Relay orienteering race, held this year in Kauhava, Finland is a unique event. Up to 30,000 visitors are roaming around the remote event area during the weekend. Building capable mobile connections for this large a group in the middle of the forest is a challenging project.

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“We started preparing for the event well in advance, including expanding the 5G network in the event area. During the event, we also brought three mobile trailer base stations to the area”, explains Sami Rajamäki, Vice President of Network Services at Elisa.

Orienteering events, as well as many other sports events, have gone digital – and there’s no going back.

“Many visitors to the Jukola Relay follow their teammates’ progress in the field through the app. The 5G network has better capacity than earlier network generations, which means that many applications operate better during the event”, Rajamäki continues.

5G enables real-time video from the woods, where competition takes place

The development of the mobile network also unleashes new possibilities when it comes to streaming real-time video. Today, high-quality video can be transmitted over the 5G network, and this year, the progress of the top competitors at the Jukola Relay was broadcasted for the first time via the 5G network and smartphones. This made it possible to broadcast live video footage even from the very edges of the competition area, where top orienteers are competing for the win.

“The Jukola Relay is an excellent example of how events can be broadcast to the public in real-time and in more detail by using the most advanced mobile network. With the help of 5G, live video can also be transmitted from areas that have not been accessed before”, says Rajamäki.

Elisa has already used the 5G network for other live broadcasts in Finland, including the Nordic Junior World Ski Championships and a concert by Andrea Bocelli at Nokia Areena in Tampere, and an increasing number of events are expected to be implemented this way in the next few years. Elisa is also the first operator in Finland to make 5G standalone network services widely available to both consumers and corporations. More than 94% of Finns already live in areas covered by Elisa’s ​​ 5G network.