TOKYO -- Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. announced today the successful completion of a large-scale trial of technologies that demonstrate the capacity for 5G (5th generation mobile communications systems) to transform industries and the customer experience. The trial, conducted on November 15, 2018, included remote unmanned delivery robot operation, drone-based identity verification and 8K VR video streaming through the utilization of a 5G network, to realize a “smart stadium” experience.
The “smart stadium” concept utilizes advanced technologies to create new viewing experiences for sports. Stadiums utilizing technology to improve the experience for fans can be found worldwide, with examples including the use of apps to order food and drink in the stadium or in paperless ticketing systems, and the use of VR video streaming to offer fans outside the stadium a more immersive viewing experience. Rakuten Mobile Network believes that 5G, in combination with Rakuten’s diverse range of services and technologies, can play a role in creating a more enjoyable and convenient sports viewing experience.
The over-the-air (OTA) 5G trial was carried out at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, in collaboration with Nokia and Intel Corporation, making use of Nokia’s AirScale base station and the Intel® 5G Mobile Trial Platform. Nokia leveraged its services expertise to optimize deployment of the base stations.
Overview of the trial
1. Delivery through remote operation of an unmanned delivery robot and video-based identity verification
2. Identity verification at the stadium using a drone
3. Live streaming of 8K 360-degree VR video of the stadium
Delivery through remote operation of an unmanned delivery robot and video-based identity verification
The trial leveraged the high transmission capacity and low latency of 5G to remotely operate and monitor in real-time through 4K video a delivery made by an unmanned robot equipped with a 5G device. The robot was developed by collaboration between the Rakuten Institute of Technology and Utsunomiya University.
The use of unmanned delivery robots in a 5G trial was a first for the Japan market, highlighting the potential of unmanned delivery robots for not only delivering items to customers within sports stadiums but as a significant solution in last-mile logistics applications.
Trial of identity verification technology using a drone
In the trial, video captured by a drone was transmitted via the 5G network and used to identify individuals in the stadium. The trial demonstrated the potential of 5G for providing personalized services such as deliveries at major sports or entertainment events.
360-degree 8K VR video streaming
In the trial, which made use of the high transmission capacity of 5G, 8K VR footage taken in the stadium with a 360-degree camera was transmitted via the 5G network and streamed live. The trial highlighted how 5G can enable real-time, immersive viewing experiences for fans located remotely.
“As Rakuten builds the world’s first end-to-end cloud native network and advances toward launch of our LTE network in 2019, we have the future and our customers top of mind,” said Tareq Amin, Chief Technology Officer of Rakuten Mobile Network, Inc. “5G will be no different: Rakuten is on track to be able to offer customers the truly transformative, 5G network they deserve. This milestone is a first step in moving 5G development from labs into the field, expanding 5G mmWave radio performance and propagation testing into a real world environment.”
“Working with Rakuten we are pleased to highlight the capabilities of 5G in this successful trial. It shows how by leveraging the Nokia AirScale radio technology, our customers can support innovative services that transform operations and deliver an enhanced experience for end users,” said Marc Rouanne, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia.
"By enabling these new experiences with Rakuten and Nokia, we are showing the potential of 5G offerings in creating new exciting business models for stadium operators and service providers,” said Dan Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of the Network Compute Division of Intel. “Utilizing the Intel 5G Mobile Trial Platform and Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers enables standards-based 5G testing that incorporates spectrum, band, capacity and handover solutions that can be utilized in commercial 5G deployments. The result of this collaboration can be further extended to a broad range of 5G use cases across different industries, such as retail, smart manufacturing, media and many more.”
Based on its vision that the next generation of mobile broadband and the Internet of Things, enabled by 5G, will transform virtually all sectors of society and industry, and further accelerate the opportunities to advance in healthcare, education, energy services and agriculture, and within new industry applications, Rakuten Mobile Network aims to create services that leverage the full potential of 5G to increase convenience, provide innovative experiences to users and contribute to the further development of society and the economy.