December 16, 2019 by Teresa McGaughey

Virtual Reality: Giving You, and Your Entire Subscriber Base, Front Row Seats to the Super Bowl


I’m sure being at the Super Bowl would be amazing. There is nothing like being at a live game. Sitting at home on the couch with a big screen TV is great, but the atmosphere at the stadium really makes the experience. Tickets for Super Bowl LIV are currently going for $4,500, which makes it out of reach for most people. But what if you could be “present” for just $400? 

Virtual Reality (VR) goggles make this a reality. I had the opportunity to watch a Golden State Warriors basketball game from front row center court. However, I was in Nashville, on my couch. It’s amazing. Before you know it, you are so immersed in the experience that you forget you’re at home. The NBA games on VR cost about $6, but essentially you are sharing your seat with many others all over the world. Think of the revenue the NBA or NFL can get from that type of ticket sales.

In 2018, Verizon hosted the Super Bowl over VR using 5G. While nothing has been announced yet for the 2020 Super Bowl, I would imagine the tickets could be much more than $7 for that game.

VR appears this holiday season’s hot gift. Facebook’s Oculus Quest sells for as low as $400 at stores like Best Buy. Until a few days ago, you could have them delivered before December 25. But now, Best Buy’s web site says they are out of stock. At Amazon, it’s going to cost you near $1,000. 

So how does this growing VR market impact your network? The NBA games hosted on NextVR require 15 Mbps, which isn’t significant. If there is some delay as you watch, it’s not a big deal as long as someone next to you isn’t watching on TV. But what if many subscribers on the same PON start to use 15 Mbps of bandwidth on December 25 or on Super Bowl Sunday? That GPON pipe could fill up.

With this in mind, it’s time to start looking at what’s next for your GPON network. It’s not just about the PON. It’s also about aggregating all of that increased bandwidth from subscribers. If you’d like to learn more about how Calix can help you to prepare for this bandwidth onslaught, listen to our recent webinar on the impact of gaming on the network or check out our 10G everyPON solutions here.