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5G networks

5G helps speed up golf at a stroke

Technology helps players predict where balls land and save time locating them

A round of golf could take less time in the 5G era thanks to technology that helps players find their balls.

NAGANO, Japan -- A recent 5G test at a golf club in central Japan showed how the next-generation wireless technology can be used to improve efficiency at courses.

Conducted at Nagano Keikyu Country Club on Nov. 14, the test saw NTT Communications and partner companies including NTT Docomo and Fujitsu using the high-speed data transmission technology to predict where balls hit by golfers would land.

By saving players the trouble of looking for their balls and effectively increasing the number of golfers who can be accommodated per day, the new service is expected to lead to improvements in how golf courses are managed.

Footage of a player hitting a ball was uploaded to a server at high speed, the ball's trajectory was analyzed, and then a point where the ball would land predicted. Players could check the predicted landing point through devices such as hand-held tablets or a screen-equipped golf carts.

The exercise was one of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' 5G demonstration tests being conducted before Japan's 5G services are expected to be rolled out in fiscal 2020.

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