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PyeongChang 2018: Intel Brings 5G And eSports To Winter Olympics

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Intel uses its Olympic technology partnership to bring 5G and eSports to Winter Olympics in PyeongChang 2018

Intel will use the upcoming Winter Olympics Games in South Korea as a showcase for its 5G technology and to bring eSports to a wider audience.

The company signed up as an Olympic partner in June, promising to deliver new technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video to Summer and Winter games until Paris 2024.

At PyeongChang 2018, Intel will deliver its first “broad-scale” 5G network with local operator KT and will deliver some on-site applications at the Olympic Park and other venues.

winter olympics skater skating © Herbert Kratky Shutterstock

Intel Olympics

The Olympics will be a high-profile platform for the firm’s mobile technology, while South Korea is one of the world’s most advanced mobile nations.

“Our joint activations will give visitors a unique opportunity to experience 5G technologies,” declared Sandra Rivera, head of Intel’s Network Platforms Group.

“And they will highlight Intel’s unique 5G strengths across the network, client and cloud – the foundation for a massive new wave of connected devices and data. For 5G to become reality, all these elements need to come together into a powerful end-to-end 5G solution.

“For centuries, the Olympics has served as the premier forum for testing the limits of human performance. This year, Intel will add to the experience by flexing our technology and innovation muscle.”

Intel will also promote eSports at the Games, both to athletes and spectators. Traditional eSport staple StarCraft II will be offered alongside Steep: Road To the Olympics, the official game of PyeongChang 2018.

eSports

The venture will not only act as publicity for Intel’s wares but also test the water for the potential inclusion of eSports at the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been desperate to appeal to a younger audience in recent times and there have been calls for eSports to become a medal discipline.

“Intel has been pushing the boundaries of esports for well over a decade and our goal is to bring esports to every global sporting stage,” added Gregory Bryant, head of Intel’s Client Computing Group. “From the qualifying events to the groundbreaking Intel Extreme Masters tournament in PyeongChang, we see this as another important step in giving more people around the world a chance to experience the thrill of esports.”

The IOC also boasts several other high-profile technology companies as partners.

For example, Samsung is providing smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, printers and other computer equipment to local organising committees until 2020, while Alibaba recently signed an 11-year partnership to supply cloud infrastructure and services until 2028.

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