Major League Baseball (MLB) struck a deal with T-Mobile US to use its standalone (SA) 5G private network to review strike zone balls and strikes across select minor league stadiums this summer to help team managers, umpires and officials review, challenge and analyse calls.

Sports site ESPN reported MLB is using the Automatic Balls and Strikes (ABS) system across all 30 Class AAA parks in 2023. A representative for T-Mobile told Mobile World Live the operator was unable to confirm the number of minor league stadiums where it’s provisioning the ABS system with SA 5G.

T-Mobile stated in a press release the real-time ABS data and video would be transmitted securely to help prevent signal interference via devices and the ABS application.

The automated ball and strike system was one element of a new six-year deal T-Mobile reached with MLB, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Little League Baseball and Softball.

The operator is using its mid-band 2.5GHz spectrum for the ABS system.

T-Mobile owned a large chunk of mid-band 2.5GHz spectrum across the US following an acquisition of Sprint in 2020. It added 7,156 licences in an auction in 2022.

The SA 5G network is also being used for the operator’s Voice over New Radio (VoNR) service. T-Mobile completed its first SA 5G core in 2020 using 600MHz spectrum to improve performance on its low-band.

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