Beijing 2022 Olympics to be a smart sports event

Skiers compete during an international competition at the Thaiwoo Ski Resort in Chongli, Hebei province.
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will take on an advanced technological look as China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd, the country's second-largest telecom carrier by mobile subscribers, scrambles to help build the event into a smart sports gathering enabled by cutting-edge communication technologies.

China Unicom, the official telecommunications service provider for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, has unveiled 10 5G-powered smart applications for the sports event by teaming up with its partners.

Ultra-high-definition live streaming, facial recognition, smart transportation, drones, and robotics will all be used in the Winter Olympics to attract more people to participate in and watch the event, said Du Yonghong, head of the Winter Olympics office at China Unicom.

The Beijing-based company hopes to leverage the 2022 Winter Olympics as another strategic opportunity to grow its business amid stiff competition from rivals such as China Mobile Communications Corp and China Telecommunications Corp.

As part of its overall services, China Unicom will set up a robust telecom infrastructure to enable 4K to 8K video transmission, along with virtual reality and augmented reality live broadcast of the competitions.

Voice, image, position and behaviour recognition technologies will also be deployed to better engage audiences, organizers and athletes, the company said in a statement.

On Thursday, China Unicom also announced that it has inked strategic deals with Huawei Technologies Co, Panasonic, Beijing Sport University and 13 ski resorts to form an alliance to promote winter sports in China.

Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Unicom, said earlier the company will support the Olympic Games with a secure, smart network that allows superfast internet speeds and it will deploy pioneering applications to inject new vitality into the event.

The company has already rolled out 5G services in 40 cities across China.

China Unicom said the core features of a smart Olympics include safety, multimedia formats, artificial intelligence technologies and energy reduction. The company was the official telecommunications service provider during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said earlier that the rapid advancement of mobile communication technology has satisfied people's demand for "faster, higher, stronger" networks, and also provided more possibilities for the development of the Olympics.