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MIT Technology Review

Russia is using the World Cup to kick off its 5G efforts

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Fans can watch the match between Morocco and Iran in real time through VR glasses thanks to a 5G connection.

The score: Sporting events have turned into 5G proving grounds. The winter Olympics in South Korea last year saw the first large scale deployment of 5G, and earlier this year Verizon streamed the Super Bowl in VR using 5G.

Watching headers through headsets: On June 15, the first game taking place in Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg will be streamed to viewers in a “5G zone” in Moscow, about 600 kilometers away.

GOOOOOOOOAL: Hosting the World Cup has prompted Russia to give a boost to its 5G efforts. It plans to launch a series of pilot networks next year that will act like hot spots. Russia’s 5G infrastructure is making progress, but it’s still behind that of the US and South Korea, which plan to launch commercial networks by the end of 2018 and 2019, respectively.