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Youth Olympic Games 2020

Private 5G network tested successfully at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games

As part of its partnership with the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games, Swisscom participated in the Innosuisse 5G-PROLIVE project, which aims to integrate all audiovisual equipment into a private 5G network during major events. This concept was demonstrated successfully during the event at the Villars site.

A private 5G wireless network to reduce the installation of audiovisual equipment at sporting events is now a reality. A demonstration held during the Lausanne Youth Olympic Games from 9 to 22 January 2020 has been hailed a resounding success. It brought together the partners OFCOM, EPFL, SRG SSR, the HEIG-VD (School of Management and Engineering in Yverdon), the Neuchâtel-based company NuLink and Swisscom. The demonstration ran from 17 to 22 January at the Villars site and was designed to completely replace wired audiovisual installations with a private 5G wireless network connecting all the production equipment at the venue.

«Equipping a sporting event such as the Winter Youth Olympic Games with a private 5G network offers considerable advantages - not only in terms of implementation, but especially in terms of sustainability.»

Jacques Bähler
Head of International Project Management

Ecological and economic benefits

A wireless network for major events massively reduces the amount of installation equipment transported and the manpower required. “At large sporting events, there can easily be around 40 lorries of equipment, including lots of cables. As well as heavy loads and more pollution, this also requires considerably more personnel. Our aim would be to send just the cameras, microphones, timing devices, and scoreboards, greatly reducing the number of colleagues, vehicles and containers to be moved,” explains Laurent Zwahlen, director of NuLink. This reduction in staff and equipment would result in substantial savings and lessen the environmental impact of such events. According to Jacques Bähler, a project lead at Swisscom, these tests show that a “wireless event” could be envisaged in the medium term with the installation of a private 5G antenna via SIM cards dedicated to this private network. “This prospect offers considerable advantages in terms of speed of implementation, and for sustainability in particular.”

Major tests at the Youth Olympic Games

With venues spread across two countries and 1,837 athletes from 79 nations competing in 81 events, the Youth Olympic Games provided an ideal platform to demonstrate the potential of this new technology that could revolutionise the world of sporting events in the future. The Villars site was chosen for infrastructure reasons.

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