Russian operators have invested around $20m into mobile network infrastructure for Moscow FIFA facilities
Moscow is building on the mobile network infrastructure put in place ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2018 with plans to launch a 5G pilot next year.
The Russian capital will begin permanently testing the 5G pilot zone in early 2019, which is being launched by Moscow Government in cooperation with Russian operator Megafon. The operator plans to conduct commercial launch of 5G networks until 2022.
The testing will focus on the four key industries of healthcare, transport, construction and housing utilities. One of the pilot projects will involve ultrasound diagnostics remotely operated via 5G networks. Another project will entail the launching of drones for monitoring construction sites through a high-speed network.
Investment ahead of the World Cup boosted Moscow’s connectivity infrastructure, which is central to its transformation into a smart city. The technology put in place for the event made it the most connected World Cup in history.
Russian telecom operators invested around 1.3 billion rubles (approximately $20m) into Moscow ICT infrastructure at the stadiums, training bases, transport stations, airports, fan zones, hotels, media centres and management headquarters.
“In cooperation with mobile operators we have developed a sophisticated digital ecosystem providing solid mobile network and extensive wi-fi coverage for our visitors”
Statistics now issued by the IT Department of the Moscow Government (DIT) show that the event proved to be a phenomenon for the country. Visitors transferred 144 Pbytes of data over the mobile network which is equal to 72 trillion photos on Facebook, 11 thousand films in 4K format or 3,000 copies of the digitised fund of the largest library in Moscow. In total there have been 7.5 billion interactions with official FIFA digital platforms.
Moscow also became a test bed for cutting edge technologies at the four FIFA venues: Luzhniki stadium, Spartak stadium, FIFA Fan Fest Sparrow Hills, FIFA Fan Fest Spartak stadium. In total 1300 cell towers, 55 mobile cell sites and 25 000 km of fibre line were deployed to achieve such a reliable result.
With a speed reaching 260 Mbit/s, HD video, a full game could be downloaded in four minutes. The peak load was reached during Russia-Croatia game which exceeded the traditional New Year peaking load by more than 1.5 times. Interestingly, 50 per cent of European FIFA guests and 85 per cent Latin Americans bought prepaid SIM Moscow mobile operator’s cards and made extensive use of them.
With regards to wi-fi, ahead of FIFA Moscow authorities spent 830 million rubles (approximately $13.3m) on free public wi-fi hotspots in a further effort to secure the access to the internet for everyone. In total there was 2,000 new wi-fi hotspots added to the existing infrastructure of over 30,000 hotspots. The wi-fi network was also installed at the FIFA venues in Moscow with the average speed 7 Mb/s.
“In cooperation with mobile operators we have developed a sophisticated digital ecosystem providing solid mobile network and extensive wi-fi coverage for our visitors,” said Andrey Belozerov, Strategy and Innovations Advisor to CIO of Moscow.
He added: “At first we expected 30-35k visitors at FIFA Fan Fest Sparrow Hills, but during the first day 70k visitors arrived and it exceeded our expectations. We had to scale up our networks to withstand a peaking load. We believe that we have managed to provide an infrastructure for everyone to share this moment with their friends abroad.”
As a result, 70k people enjoyed wi-fi coverage and transferred a total of 9.5 TB of data.
Moscow authorities also deployed sophisticated CCTV system to enhance security for every visitor. The system connected 4,288 cameras situated at FIFA facilities including nine metro stations in the neighbourhood. In addition, it piloted three video analytics zones with face recognition systems.
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