During preparations for Sochi 2014, huge improvements were made to the host region’s technology and energy infrastructure to enable organisers to stage the most digitally-enabled Olympic Winter Games in history.
Improvements included the construction of 550km of high voltage power lines, two new thermal power plants and one gas power plant with a combined capacity of 1,200MW. A transportation management system was also put in place – including a Transportation Logistic Centre and more than 1,500 cameras – to guarantee smooth traffic flow throughout the host city.
The IOC’s worldwide technology partners – ATOS, GE, Omega, Panasonic and Samsung – also played an integral role before, during and after Games, providing a vast array of services and equipment.
Each of the technology partners has a very important and specific role at the Games, from integrating and securing the IT solutions, providing mobile devices, televisions and electronic equipment to bringing professional timekeepers and equipment for the timing, scoring, display and distribution of results.
Much of the technology provided for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games will continue to be used, while the experience gained will enable Sochi to host other major events, such as a Formula One Grand Prix and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Fans at these future events will also benefit from the new mobile telecommunications facilities in the Sochi region, which were upgraded prior to the 2014 Winter Games to ensure that fans, athletes and media could stay connected.
Starting from a base of zero, 685 2G/3G mobile base stations were built especially for the Games throughout the greater Sochi area, as well as 270 4G towers and 200km of fibre-optic circuit. This enabled Sochi 2014 to be the first in the history of the Winter Games with 4G-connection available (with download speeds from 10 Mbps), including LTE Advanced (with download speeds from 270 Mbps).
During the Games, Sochi visitors used approximately 500Tb of mobile Internet traffic. The total duration of mobile calls exceeded 340 million minutes, and the quantity of messages sent reached 90 million. The average speed of the mobile Internet in the 3G networks was 3 Mbps, and in 4G it was 20 Mbps.
Since the conclusion of the Games, the entire infrastructure is now providing high-quality connectivity to the people who live in the Sochi region.
Preparations for the Games helped to speed up the development of telecommunications technologies in the region and allowed Sochi to join the ranks of Russian cities with the highest level of IT infrastructure development.
Sochi is now one of the first Russian cities to be entirely equipped with the most modern telecommunications infrastructure, including digital communications channels, high-definition interactive television and a high level of 4G cellular coverage.