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London Olympic Park - Cellular coverage across the entire Olympic park and associate venues

London Olympic Park

PBE Axell worked closely with JOOG (Joint Operators Olympics Group) to deliver cellular coverage across the entire Olympic park and associate venues.

With the Olympics attracting over 10 million people, this system need to be able to cope with the demand of users communicating via calls, text and social media. This project involved multiple environments with multiple challenges.

PBE Axell  The Challenge

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games delivered the ultimate in sporting drama, seeing over 10 million people attend the events over the 4 weeks during the summer.

The UK mobile operators, along with Airwave, the public safety operator, formed the Joint Operators Olympic Group (JOOG). The group was created specifically to deal with the mobile traffic challenges presented by the Games. JOOG understood the considerable challenge of delivering cellular coverage across the entire Olympic Park and associated venues. The mass proliferation of smartphone technology led JOOG to consider both raw capacity, and the propagation of such capacity to the many attendees around the various Olympic venues, as critical requirements.

Not only was the task an immense operational challenge, but it was not something that could be easily planned for either. Simulations and trials were run as part of the event preparation but it was very difficult to accurately predict how mobile traffic would act onsite on a particular day.

PBE Axell  The Solution

The Joint Operators Olympic Group selected PBE Axell as their provider of the many Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) that were used to propagate capacity and coverage around the various Games sites. In addition, JOOG commissioned PBE Axell to provide service advice and system support throughout the duration of the events.

PBE Axell met this challenge by providing one of the most sophisticated multisector Fibre DAS installations in the world, delivering cellular connectivity to the Olympic Park and associated venues, for all of the UK operators. A central base station hotel was installed, housing a few hundred base stations. All venues within the Olympic Park were then connected to this base station hotel through the PBE Axell Fibre DAS. The system provided coverage for all the UK operators, with technology deployed to cover the 900MHz band, 1800MHz band and 2100MHz band. Both GSM and UMTS 3G services were supported in multiple bands.

PBE Axell deployed over 300 optical remotes in total, including deployments across the entire Olympic Park, Greenwich Park, Horse Guards Parade, Earls Court and football stadiums throughout the UK. Providing cellular coverage to the main Olympic Stadium was the sole responsibility of UK Operator, EE for which PBE Axell supplied a Fibre DAS network configuration of 46 optical remotes providing coverage for the stadium’s 80,000 seats. In addition, PBE Axell also installed DAS solutions in different parts of the Olympic park, such as the Athlete’s Village, to provide public safety coverage for the emergency services.

PBE Axell provided service advice and support to both contractors and the mobile operators when the technology was initially installed. As the project progressed, PBE Axell linked the various Distributed Antenna Systems with their network operations centre in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

PBE Axell’ network management system, AEM (Active Element Manager), was used to monitor the condition of all the DAS systems operating throughout the Olympics to ensure that they were delivering optimised and adequate coverage. As the Games drew closer, this became a service that was operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As well as this remote support, PBE Axell also had a team of engineers on-site, at all times.

PBE Axell  The Benefit

The solution was designed in such a way that enabled a quick swap on-site during the installation and commissioning phase. The design includes redundant power supplies and battery back-ups for the equipment ensuring that even in times of complete mains power failure the system continues to function.

“I think our overall impression of the equipment was more like ‘How was this done?’. We were extremely impressed with the equipment combiners and amplifiers as well as your production facility. We were quite impressed that all the components that were able to fit into the combiners as well as they did.”

Richard Caul Senior Manager - EE

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