Cegeka scores Belgium’s first 5G stadium
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Overhead shot of Cegeka Arena in Genk The rebranded Cegeka Arena is home to the 2018/19 Belgian champions Racing Genk (credit: Cegeka)

Mobile operator Cegeka has announced an agreement with football club Racing Genk to create the first 5G stadium in Belgium.

As part of the 10-year deal the four-time Belgian Pro League champions will rebrand their home ground, the Luminus stadium in Genk, into the Cegeka Arena. Alongside the rebrand it will act as a test ground for new 5G applications in sport.

The leading Belgian telecoms and technology company said it will use the stadium to trial sports-related 5G applications such as real-time player data tracking and crowd flow using Internet of Things technology as well as “enhanced spectator offerings” including digital augmented reality and virtual reality experiences at the 23,000 seater stadium.

Stijn Bijnens, CEO at Cegeka, said: “The stadium is a great testing ground for us, with a unique and impactful context. It is also just a few kilometres from our head office in Hasselt.

"It will allow us to experiment and make the possibilities of 5G more accessible, as an ambitious and attractive showcase both in Belgium and internationally.”

The duo have worked together since 2019 when Cegeka signed up as kit sponsors for the Racing Genk shorts previously worn by Belgian international stars Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois and Divock Origi.

Davy Vanhaen, commercial director at Racing Genk, said: “We [Genk and Cegeka] have both been through a great evolution, which has brought us far beyond the boundaries of our province of Limburg. This shared history gives us common ground for our partnership for the future. It is an honour for us to be able to connect the flagship of the Limburg economy to this innovative technology. It will propel both of us into the future, with the Cegeka Arena as the launching pad.”

Cegeka recently announced its figures for the 2020 financial year with a consolidated turnover of €640m, an increase of 14% on the previous year, and said it would invest further in 5G, artificial intelligence and ‘cloud-first’ strategies in the future.

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