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Verizon launches 5G in NFL stadiums across the US

By the start of the season, 13 football stadiums will have the new mobile network.

Verizon and AT&T are launching 5G across NFL stadiums.
Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon is launching its new 5G network in NFL stadiums across the nation, with 13 to be live by the start of the 2019-20 football season. The service will be focused on the seated areas but could also be available in and around the stadiums. Verizon said it will bring 5G to more stadiums throughout the NFL's 100th season. 

5G, already launched in some parts of the US by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, is being tapped by smartphones to provide faster speeds and more capacity. Verizon in August announced the expansion of its 5G network to Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis and Washington, DC, in addition to already being live in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Providence.

But Verizon's stadium-focused 5G launch will see the new network go live in parts of other cities, the carrier said Thursday.

Stadiums that'll have 5G by the start of the season include Gillette Stadium (New England Patriots), MetLife Stadium (New York Giants and New York Jets), Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Dolphins), Broncos Stadium at Mile High (Denver Broncos), CenturyLink Field (Seattle Seahawks), Soldier Field (Chicago Bears), U.S. Bank Stadium (Minnesota Vikings), Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers), Ford Field (Detroit Lions), Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis Colts), M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens) and NRG Stadium (Houston Texans).

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg called the project "a key moment in our partnership with the NFL.

"We expect the impact on the sports entertainment industry to be massive," Vestberg added. "It promises to revolutionize the entire game-day experience for fans."

Without getting specific, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, said 5G would "enhance the game-day experience ... in a number of different ways." 

Meanwhile, AT&T also revealed Thursday how its 5G network at the Dallas Cowboys' home stadium will be used.

"Throughout the season, we plan to offer four unique 5G activations that will begin to change the way fans interact with the game, including life-size digital versions of star players and live stats overlaid on the field using the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G," AT&T said.

As well as seeing the players and touchdown dances up close, people with a Galaxy S10 5G at AT&T Stadium in Dallas will be able to track team performance and view live stats using augmented reality.