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ESAF 2022 – enough momentum with our mobile communications, WLAN and Internet.

Once again, colleagues from Swisscom Broadcast worked hand in hand with the ICT technicians from cablex. Together, numerous optical fibre connections and network links were prepared and maintained for the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival (ESAF) 2022.

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Author Martina Strazzer

The largest mobile arena in the world is built in Switzerland every three years. It consists of 3,000 tonnes of material and a total of 300,000 individual parts. There is enough space in the arena for around 51,000 people. This year, from 26 to 28 August 2022, the municipality of Pratteln (BL) hosted the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival (ESAF), which was attended by 400,000 festival-goers.

We supported the ESAF again this year in all phases – from A for AV technology to Z for zealous central video direction. As the overall technical manager, we made sure that telephony, mobile communications, WLAN and high-speed internet worked. If the optical fibre network is the spinal cord, then our central control is the brain of this system.

Jürgen Lochbrunner, General Project Manager Events at Swisscom Broadcast

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Four ICT technicians from the cablex Field Services team were also on hand in Pratteln. They helped to set up the optical fibre connections and network links and ensured that everything ran smoothly during the big event.

Spinal cord and brain.

Around 40 kilometres of optical fibre cables were laid on the site in Pratteln. They formed the backbone of all the technical solutions that were in use. Thanks to two specially constructed optical fibre connections, the lines were geo-redundant. So if one line fails, the second can take over.

The temporary event network.

The temporary event network was used by the wrestling federations and partners, as well as many sponsors and catering businesses. Nowadays, without an internet connection, neither a cash register system nor the transmission of video signals, no audio and lighting technology and not even the logistics supply for fan articles and drinks runs. Surveillance cameras for security and LED walls were provided by Swisscom Broadcast.

The wrestling matches were usually also watched at the event on smartphones in parallel. The live broadcast makes it easier to follow the fights, as the view is often blocked for spectators on-site or they are too far away from the action. Swiss television also benefited from public viewing at Barfüsserplatz in Basel. Unimaginable without an appropriate network.

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Our ICT technician Nico Lienhard was one of the four cablex technicians responsible for the technical facilities around the arena. His experience at the cablex assignment for the big event was as follows:

It was very exciting and interesting to be part of this traditional Swiss event. You experience new challenges at every event, but also funny situations. For example, my colleague Roman Kälin and I had to install an additional switch right next to the legendary Unspunnen Stone. This stone is constantly watched by someone. For us to carry out the installation, the person responsible for the Unspunnen Stone had to leave. So we took over the task of protecting the 83.5 kilogram stone for ten minutes. I think we can be proud. The whole team did an excellent job, and the event was a complete success from my point of view.

Nico Lienhard, ICT technician


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