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FA Cup final broadcast over 4G by BBC and EE

Saturday’s FA Cup final was successfully broadcast over 4G by the BBC and EE. 

As part of a series of ongoing trials, the Beeb and EE (the BEEb?) chose a selected group of fans, who were present inside Wembley Stadium for Saturday’s match, and issued them with a bespoke app. 

This gave viewers the opportunity to experience the game from alternative angles and re-live key moments from their devices at any time they wanted. 

EE’s app also served up statistics and interactive functionality, which polled the supporters for their opinions on key issues such as player performances. We presume any Aston Villa fans gave this section of the app something of a spirited workout. 

Related: What is Cat 6 LTE and how will it benefit everyone on 4G?The system makes use of cell masts to broadcast video streams to compatible 4G phones in much the same way as your TV receives a standard terrestrial signal. 

As any regular match goer will tell you, several thousand fans and several thousand phones concentrated in one areas typically means coverage nosedives spectacularly. EE has greatly increased the 4G capacity inside Wembley Stadium, ensuring that fans in the seats can get a decent signal. 

Wembley Stadium is something of a test-bed for next-gen mobile tech; earlier this year EE trialled cutting edge up to 400Mbps LTE-Advanced technology at the stadium. 

EE’s chief executive, Olaf Swantee, said: 4G is not just about faster web and video download speeds, it will also change where and how we watch live events on mobile devices.” 

“We are continuing to innovate, and to show how powerful 4G technology can be. In the future, 4G Broadcast will make live television available to mobile audiences in a way we have never seen before, and the cross-industry collaboration in this project has enabled a big step forward in making that possible.” 

EE eventually plans to launch network-agnostic coverage at the stadium, so you’ll be able to tweet away whether you’re with EE, O2, Vodafone, Three or any other operator. 

Rob Ray, the Football Association’s group director of digital & IT added: “This latest innovation highlights that through Wembley’s partnership with EE, we are at the forefront of technological advancements in global sports and music entertainment venues. 

“It demonstrates the value of the partnership and our commitment to our event owners, and to their fans and the experience they will enjoy at the stadium for years to come.” 


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