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From 3 to 5 September 2021, Lenzerheide, Graubünden, became a mountain bike hotspot. The Mountain Bike World Cup took place with the disciplines Cross-Country Short Track, Cross-Country Olympic and Downhill. Together with colleagues from Swisscom, cablex ensured Wi-Fi coverage for the entire sporting event and enabled worldwide direct transmission.
cablex and Swisscom work hand in hand at the Mountain Bike World Cup. All network installations are carried out by cablex.
This sounds so simple since we are used to finding a Wi-Fi connection in most of the places where we spend time. However, with such a large event taking place "in the open countryside", so to speak, the planning of the installation work is not to be underestimated!
For the three-day spectacle, 10,000 spectators per day were permitted, applying the 3G "vaccinated, recovered, tested" rule. Although advance sales were slow, the late-summer weather meant that, in the end, 21,000 sports enthusiasts watched the competitions. Our Swiss bikers took very good medal positions in the top ranks.
Depending on the requirements profile, access points were connected via optical fibre cables or network cables. cablex was responsible for the necessary connections for the UCI, the umbrella organisation of national cycling federations. The SRF transmission vehicle needed an Internet connection, as did Red Bull TV and the commentators' booths. Timing, accurate to hundredths of a second, also had to run precisely, and the necessary equipment had to be installed. In addition, the teams from all over the world had parking areas for their service vehicles, which were wired up accordingly on the site.
Responsibility for the technical installations does not end with the set-up work. An on-call service during the event must always be guaranteed in case of a sudden failure that needs to be fixed immediately. Our colleague from Swisscom Event & Media Solutions (SEM) took over this task at the event. Last but not least, cablex was also responsible for dismantling the equipment so that the green site could be used again for other activities afterwards.
As has been the case for many years, Marc Farrér, ICT technician in Field Services, was on duty for cablex. He was present at the Mountain Bike World Cup back in 2015 and is familiar with the organisational and technical requirements. This year, he noticed the special atmosphere in Lenzerheide:
"The mood on-site was excellent. All participants and organisers found it cool that the event could take place again after a one-year coronavirus break. Even though the number of visitors was limited to 10,000 people per day in compliance with the 3G rule, all participants were euphoric. Of course, the great late-summer weather added to the good mood. If I may, I will be there again next year. Now I'm already concentrating on the winter events that I can help support for cablex."
Our Swisscom colleagues evaluated how actively the accredited people used the Wi-Fi connection.
During the peak times on Friday and Saturday afternoon, more than 300 people from the bike teams, journalists and other responsible persons were online at the competition site. A data volume of 1.9 terabytes was consumed! This shows once again that such major events would not be feasible today without Wi-Fi availability.