Yes, we did! Sprint and Nokia, in collaboration with Hatch and Super League Gaming, recently came together in Marina del Rey to give wireless users an experience they’d never had before: a live gaming exhibition powered by Sprint True Mobile 5G.
Sprint had just announced the launch of True Mobile 5G in parts of Los Angeles utilizing Massive MIMO radios from Nokia and the companies wanted a unique way to celebrate. The result was an esports event like no other, using the new 5G network to let players experience gaming using the fifth generation of wireless connectivity. Over 150 invited guests including gamers, industry reps, customers and media learned about 5G and experienced it first hand while playing mobile games and watching a live 5G VR demo by Nokia.
“Gaming is just one of the industries that will be taken to new levels in the 5G era and we wanted to bring this use case to life so people could truly experience it, real time,” said Bryan Fries, Sprint’s vice president of 5G strategy. “We all took a huge leap doing something so big, so soon, and the reaction and results were fantastic.”
Experienced and casual gamers alike participated in a Hatch mobile cloud gaming tournament featuring Beach Buggy Racing 2 using Sprint’s 5G smartphones. An emcee, shout-caster and giant screen behind the continuous rounds of players kept all attendees in on the fun and action on stage and provided prizes and giveaways to guests including new Sprint 5G devices.
"It was amazing to witness the first-ever Hatch live gaming tournament in the country,” said Vesa Jutila, chief commercial officer, Hatch. “You could really sense the energy and excitement in the room as people queued to take part in the future of gaming.”
Based in Finland, Hatch is now expanding its reach in the U.S. and Sprint is the first U.S. wireless carrier to offer Hatch preloaded on all of our Sprint 5G enabled smartphones. Sprint customers who purchase a 5G handset will receive a complimentary three-month subscription to Hatch Premium giving them mobile cloud access to play games like Angry Birds GO! Turbo Edition and Arkanoid Rising and more than 100 others. After trial pay $7.99/mo.
Mobile cloud gaming is the future of gaming and with 5G, gamers are going to get immediate value from its increased capacity, performance and lower latency. True Mobile 5G is better, faster and more capable of accessing the Internet allowing gamers to participate in fast, buffer-free gaming from providers like Hatch.
A big thanks goes out to Super League Gaming which organizes amateur eSports competitions across the country including the tournaments that night. More than 50 gamers used the new 5G network to play in a Hatch Beach Buggy Racing 2 tournament. Then Super League Gaming ran a Fortnite competition in which the winners played off with gaming stars, Wes Johnson (who tweeted: “It’s faster than my internet at home and we had 0 issues”) and Michael Davis. The PCs used an HTC 5G Hub over Sprint 5G to provide the live gameplay with no hard wired connection.
Sprint and Super League Gaming plan to work together on additional events to showcase the power of 5G and mobile gaming. “Being able to provide gamers with a premium gameplay experience without having to rely upon traditional broadband was a breakthrough moment,” said Matt Edelman, Chief Commercial Officer, Super League Gaming. “5G opens up opportunities that will change the landscape in competitive video gaming.”
The event was made possible by Sprint’s tireless team of network engineers, device and client experts, and a terrific team from Nokia, Hatch and Super League Gaming.
“We’ve been building our 5G network for about a year around LA and our live gaming event was a great initial win for our newly lit up next-generation wireless service,” said Eamon O’Leary, Sprint’s network vice president for the western region. “We maintained 5G connectivity throughout the event and seamlessly moved gigabytes of data at consistently fast speeds to deliver smooth gameplay.”
Nokia 5G Massive MIMO radios powering Sprint 5G in Los Angeles support a feature called split-mode that enables Sprint to simultaneously deliver LTE Advanced and 5G New Radio (NR) service. Sprint’s 5G Massive MIMO radios run on its 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum, and they are deployed on Sprint’s existing 4G cell sites, providing a nearly identical footprint for both 2.5 GHz LTE and 5G NR coverage.
“It was wonderful working together on this first-of-its-kind exhibition that shows some of the amazing possibilities 5G can and will unleash for gaming and entertainment, as well as other industries,” said Ricky Corker, Nokia Customer Operations President- Americas. “Our Massive MIMO is at the heart of Sprint’s new 5G service in Los Angeles and it was a thrill to know it was helping participants game with this new technology for the first time.”
True Mobile 5G is now live in areas of L.A. from Marina del Rey to Downtown L.A., and West Hollywood to Culver City covering more than 1.2 million people. Sprint 5G is also available in parts of Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, New York City, Phoenix, Washington D.C. The company has largest initial 5G coverage footprint of any carrier in the U.S. covering approximately 2,100 square miles and approximately 11 million people in its 5G markets. Learn more about Sprint 5G, availability devices and plans at www.sprint.com/sprint5G.