Vodafone to launch 5G Fan Assisted Referee (FAR) for Isles of Scilly

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Players for the Garrison Gunners (red) and Woodpack Wanderers (black) – the only two teams in the Isles of Scilly league!

As if getting abuse from the crowd wasn’t bad enough! Soon football referees on the Isles of Scilly will be getting abuse – or at the very least ‘constructive criticism’ – from the world’s first fan assisted referee (FAR) system via 5G enabled smartphone. 

In partnership with Vodafone, not only will key Isles of Scilly league games be streamed over 5G  from October 2019, Vodafone will also connect supporters elsewhere on the island so they can instantly have a say on key decisions during a game via their mobile phones.

5G’s unique characteristics will allow anyone with a compatible smartphone to become a remote assistant referee, whether they are socialising at the local Scillonian Club, broadcasting live on air with Radio Scilly or on a boat in the harbour. Locals who are not pitch-side can review disputed penalties, goals or red cards and deliver their verdict instantly back to the match official!

From July 3rd both consumers and business customers will be able to receive 5G in seven cities across the UK as well as the Isles of Scilly. An additional 12 towns and cities will receive 5G during the year with Vodafone also offering customers 5G roaming over the summer.

It is hoped that for the Isles of Scilly, which lie 45 kilometres off the coast of Cornwall, 5G’s much higher speeds and quick response times will help boost tourism by enabling local businesses to show high-definition videos and 3D-images of the islands’ attractions to a worldwide online audience without buffering or delay.

As part of the 5G rollout on the island, Vodafone has signed a two-year 5G sponsorship agreement with St Mary’s Association Football Club. The club manages the Isles of Scilly football league. The smallest league in the world, it comprises just two teams – Garrison Gunners and Woolpack Wanderers – who play each around 20 times over a season.

Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said:

“5G is a game-changer for the Isles of Scilly as it will provide the local community with much improved access to important online services. I’m also delighted that Vodafone is teaming up with the local football club, which brings people together, and by combining it with our technology, we can promote this wonderful archipelago on the world stage.”

Chris Price
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