5G: Expanding the reach of fantasy sports beyond India’s metros

January 14, 2023

Technology is the cornerstone of development in India. The pace of growth and scope of innovation is strong and benefits are being reaped by both established and sunrise industries like gaming and sports technology. 

5G in India: Benefits and Features

Adoption of gaming has seen significant growth. Since 2020, the total game downloads in India have grown from 6.5 billion to 15 billion and a growing user base has propelled the country to become the largest fantasy sports market in the world*. India stands at the cusp of a 5G revolution. The future is promising and is expected to accelerate awareness and adoption of gaming and fantasy sports in more ways than one. 

What role will 5G play in the fantasy sports landscape? Usually, benefits of tech innovations are confined to metropolitan cities. Fantasy sports users in India are not confined to Tier I or II markets and the roll-out of 5G will break away from this and pave the way for future technological innovations. Connectivity with low latency will increase the pace and scale of participation by users from untapped markets from across the country. 

The gaming and sports technology industry will be a revenue driver for 5G, enabling a multi-sport ecosystem leading to an increase in sports viewership, adoption and fan engagement. The technology has the potential to change the manner in which  certain games are viewed and to introduce fans to games beyond cricket, such as basketball, baseball or volleyball. Given the rising popularity of mobile games, the growth of the industry and penetration of smartphones, the industry has already started witnessing fantasy sports and skill based games being adopted beyond metros. 

Gaming and fantasy sports players are also demanding for more immersive, and hyper-real gaming and sports streaming experiences. While Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) are already at play, 5G will elevate the experience. Companies are investing in data analytics to strengthen intuitive aspects of game development and interfaces to offer personalised and unique experiences to users. 5G stands to give these efforts an impetus and enable developers to deploy newer and better features faster. 

The industry echoes the Indian government’s sentiments that the implications of the network will bring the country into the ‘5G era’ and ultimately support the ‘Digital India’ movement. India is progressing to become a $1-trillion digital economy by 2025, which will require a transformation of India’s digital infrastructure on a massive scale – 5G is a critical catalyst in its growth. Some cities are intended to be 5G-ready by the end of the year. With this update, fantasy sports, which already has a massive user base of over 15 crores will be able to reach a larger demographic and increase fan engagement.

5G is currently pushing the limits of connectivity and allowing developers to do things they couldn’t and reach a larger audience. In many ways, it represents an exciting leap forward for India’s burgeoning sports technology and gaming ecosystem, and the next few years will see how the industry echoes the sentiments of the Indian government by contributing to the ‘techade’ we are about to see.