The first week of the biggest and most important sports event of the year is already behind us – the Olympic Games 2012. It is London’s third time as the host of the Summer Olympics, and they have been busy with preparation for months to make sure that everything is running like clockwork when the whole world is watching.
Billions are going to watch the spectacle in London. Countless TV stations and online streams will be broadcasting the Games live. The broadcast is recorded in the London Olympics Media Centre and it is produced by the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS). In Great Britain, the BBC is the Home Broadcaster and will broadcast all competitions, in total 5.000 hours on several channels. Two cable television stations are going to report transnational: Eurosport in all of Europe and ESPN in nine American and 22 Asian countries. Additionally, many television stations will offer broadcastings in 3D, amongst others NBC, CCTV, BBC, Nine Network, Eurosport and Sky 3D. Furthermore, NBC and YouTube have entered into a partnership in order to be able to provide live broadcastings of all events on the Internet.
However, all of the countless mobile devices, smart phones, tablets, and notebooks should not be forgotten, since they too will be used exceptionally often. The Games take place right during vacation season, when lots of people are away from home. For those who do not have the opportunity to watch the Games at home, many channels offer alternatives for smart phones or Tablet PCs, e.g. as apps. Numerous reports are provided via apps of Sportschau and ZDF Mediathek (for Android, iOS and Windows Phone). Owners of a Samsung Galaxy S3 can even use the live stream service of the Eurosport Player App free of charge. The application does work on other devices, too, although with costs.
Obviously, these additional offers drive IT service provider and mobile communications providers to surpass each other’s top performances. In the last years, usage of smart phones, general video offers, Internet streams, and now HD videos have caused new records in data transmission volumes. The old sports’ motto “Higher, faster, further” also applies to the IT sector. In an earlier blog post, we have already argued that LTE alone cannot fix everything. For that same reason, extensive Wi-Fi Access Points have been installed all over London. Mobile phone networks are unburdened by this additional infrastructure. The goal is to ensure that users will be able to use Internet services during the Summer Games even in extreme situations, since they pay for them after all. The olympics will prove if these measures are really successful.
Whether in front of the television, with a smart phone or live on-site – do not miss out to be a part of the Olympic Games.