Stade Vélodrome to set 5G first through Orange link-up

A general view of match action during the Euro 2016 match between France and Albania at Stade Velodrome (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

French Ligue 1 football club Olympique de Marseille has announced plans to make its Stade Vélodrome home ground the first 5G stadium in the country through an agreement with telco Orange.

Orange has held naming rights to the Stade Vélodrome since June 2016 and also serves as the club’s shirt sponsor.

Over the past three years, Orange has fitted 1,000 Wi-Fi terminals around the stadium and the company has now announced plans to launch the Orange Vélodrome application, which will provide fans with access to exclusive in-stadium content on their smartphones.

Experimental antennae have been fitted at the stadium as part of Orange’s 5G experiments in Marseille and the club said the Vélodrome will become the first stadium in France to be fitted with 5G technology.

The technology will be trialled for the first time during Marseille’s home match against Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday.

Orange will also seek to enhance the fan experience at the Vélodrome through the Augmented Acoustics start-up, while its Internet of Things solution will enable the stadium to improve operational performance and optimise its environmental impact.

In September, the German Bundesliga delivered 5G mobile communications technology during a match for the first time as VfL Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena trialled the coverage.

During the match, selected fans were able to test the prototype of a new real-time app that Vodafone and the German Football League (DFL) have developed in partnership with immersive.io, a French company which specialises in elevating the sports fan experience through augmented reality.