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5G Spurs Growth in China’s E-Sports Market

The arrival of 5G has implications for many different aspects of business and daily life. That includes electronic sports (“E-sports”), a form of competition using video games.

In one of the most recent developments in this area, China Telecom and Tencent jointly released the 5G e-sports private network solution and unveiled the 5G + E-sports Joint Laboratory. The laboratory consists of teams from China Telecom, Tencent Cloud, Tencent Interactive Entertainment Tianmei E-sports Center, Tencent Interactive Entertainment Public R&D Operation System and Tencent TEG Network Platform Department.

With the joint laboratory, China Telecom and Tencent will explore innovative applications such as 5G and edge computing in the field of E-sports, continue to enrich 5G E-sports private network solutions, and bring better technical services to E-sports and other industries, according to a published report by INEWS.

Shorter Deployment Time

The 5G E-sports private network solution is reportedly capable of shortening the network deployment time from weeks or even months with traditional solutions to just a few hours. Among the other reported benefits is that the solution conducts in-depth optimization for E-sports scenarios and provides high reliability, the report said.

A key feature of the solution is its network isolation capability, which enables the system to prevent external interference and ensure the quality of an event. The platform also integrates the security capabilities of Tencent Security Tianma Lab and Tencent Security Joint Lab, providing network security of 5G e-sports private networks.

China Telecom and relevant teams from Tencent in the fourth quarter of 2021 began jointly working on the project design, development and trial work of the lightweight 5G E-sports private network, with plans to deploy the 5GC and E-sports private network operation and management systems on Tianyi Cloud.

The solution has been implemented in the King of Glory Professional League and the QQ Speed ​​S League, “supporting the stable progress of over 100 professional games,” according to the report by INEWS.

Tencent joined with China Telecom because it has the most data centers in China and the largest network, ChinaNet, with more than 400 million subscribers. CTA has the infrastructure to provide the networking experience needed to deliver quality gaming experiences and avoid issues that degrade performance.

Growing Market

The number of E-sports users in China was estimated to reach 474 million in 2021 and core users 234 million, according to the “2021 China E-sports Industry Research Report.”

The market presents both challenges and opportunities. While the E-sports industry is growing at a rapid pace, there have been problems such as an uneven development of industrial regions and restricted infrastructure. As the published report notes, at present most of the E-sports competition network uses a combination of wired and WiFi connections, and there are problems such as complex network deployment and optimization. Network performance is susceptible to interference and service fluctuation.

Despite any hurdles, the growth of E-sports is expected to continue, spurred in part by the rise in 5G services. A report by research firm Kenneth Research released in May 2022 estimates that the global E-sports market will triple between 2021 and 2025, reaching $3 billion by the end of the forecast period.

The proliferation of smartphones, increasing processing power and growing popularity of 5G networks will contribute to the growth, the aforementioned report states. During this period the gaming industry is expected to be more interactive and streaming based, said study states. The countries that generate a major portion of the revenue in the gaming industry include China, Japan, the U.S., Germany, South Korea, France, Canada, and the U.K.

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