Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) Adopts Vodafone's 5G MPN

Ireland may be out of the rugby world cup but nevertheless it had help from Vodafone's 5G private network. A press release earlier in August said:

Vodafone Ireland have installed the latest 5G Standalone (SA) Mobile Private Network (MPN) technology for the Irish rugby team, to supply the fastest and most reliable in-play analytics possible, ahead of the World Cup in France next month

Previously, the team relied on third party best-effort connectivity, in the form of standard WiFi, across stadiums and training facilities both at home and away. Now giving instant feedback on on-field plays and tactics, this 5G MPN connectivity and artificial intelligence technology, provided in partnership with Ericsson, ensures faster download and upload speeds and lower latency, which can be utilised for real-time performance analysis and decisions on the pitch.

Using this reliable connectivity, up to 8 high-resolution video streams are captured by multiple cameras and a 5G connected drone and analysed in real-time to collate clear data on player and team performance. In simple terms, it improves the ability to maximise the time on pitch where the smallest tweak to a running line or defensive position, can have a significant impact on the weekend’s game.

Vodafone Ireland and Ericsson have worked closely with the IRFU and their Head of Analytics and Innovation, Vinny Hammond and his analysis team of John Buckley, Alan Walsh and Jack Hannon. This collaboration has led to a clear understanding of the specific performance outcomes sought by such an elite sports team and has supported the design and installation of the Ericsson Private 5G solution, which now enables the management team, coaches and players to feel the real benefit of instant feedback to enhance the ability to make decisions on the fly.

The new solution has been tested at the Irish team’s High Performance Centre and will be brought to France in a bespoke 5G Connected Van for the World Cup.

This video explains the solution nicely:

In addition to this, Vodafone has also made a 5G Stadium App that uses Augmented Reality (AR), live performance tracking and instant game and player stats to deliver an enhanced fan experience. You can read more about that here.