A Step Towards 5G: Using MEC to Cut Live Video Latency at Concerts and Sports Arenas

Whenever you see a photo of the audience at a concert or a sports event, many of them have their phones above their heads, taking photos or shooting video. People want to use their mobile devices, wherever they are, to record their lives and find their way around. But for communications service providers (CoSPs), it can be challenging to deliver the bandwidth required in densely populated places. This is particularly true for live video, which also has lag when streamed over the Internet.

That's why Intel, China Unicom, Nokia, and Tencent Cloud came together to trial Edge Video Orchestration (EVO), based on the Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) platform. It enables video to be stored in a cloud local to the venue, avoiding the backhaul across the network and the latency caused by that. The trial was conducted at the Mercedes-Benz* Arena in Shanghai.

Delivering Great Experiences in the Arena

Audience members installed an application on their devices that enabled them to watch HD video streamed from cameras around the arena. There was a choice of four camera channels and live video latency was dramatically cut. Tencent Cloud also enabled some of its online stars to broadcast from the arena on social media, combining camera feeds from the venue with footage from their own devices.

Geolocation enabled people to find their friends in the venue and the mobile app also enabled fans to exchange messages, including videos. Messages sent to phones in the arena were routed locally, relieving the burden on the network.

Powering MEC

The MEC solution from Nokia is powered by the Intel® Xeon® processor family. Small cells are installed around the venue to support cellular connectivity for audience members. Other devices, such as cameras, can also be connected to the small cells or use a cable connection. Communications traffic is passed through the on-site Nokia AirFrame* server, which analyzes it to identify any requests that can be served locally.

It's all based on 4G technology, so the trial shows how new services can be delivered now, on the path to 5G. When 5G becomes available, MEC can be upgraded to offer virtual reality, augmented reality or other more bandwidth-intensive experiences.

To find out more, read the solution brief "A front row seat for everyone: Mobile HD video enhances the show".

MEC Smart Stadium


Download our solution brief to find out more about how Intel, China Unicom, Nokia, and Tencent Cloud partner to enhance the live event experience.