Telstra has had the role of providing the network infrastructure that is coping with both the Australian end of the site traffic and providing 155Mb capacity fibre optic links between the IBM LANs at each venue. It is all part of a specially designed Telstra Millennium Network (TMN) that went live in August and will provide all communications for the Olympics.
The network, which has been nine years in the planning, provides services including voice, data, video, mobile and trunk mobile radio for athletes, officials, broadcast and print media, sponsors, security, heads of state and all visitors to the Games. It will connect 39 competition and 50 non-competition venues using synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) technology that, in the case of a fault in a particular cable, automatically reroutes voice, video and data signals without interruption.
One of the key roles of TMN will be to provide broadcast transmission facilities for the 15,000 broadcast media covering the Games. During the Games the International Broadcast Centre will use it to televise more than 3,400 hours of live action to an international audience that is expected to peak at 3.5 billion people on any given day. Satellite dishes in Sydney and Perth will transmit images, commentary and data using 11 satellites and for the first time will offer high definition television (HDTV) transmission from Australia.
Providing mobile phone and radio communications - particularly for those directly involved with the Games - has been a major task. Sydney Olympic Park has the most concentrated mobile phone coverage in the world during the games with TMN providing both GSM (900 and 1800) and CDMA systems. Telstra is using dynamic configuration technology to monitor demand in particular locations and increase or decrease mobile capacity accordingly.
The Olympic Radio Network, which is part of TMN, uses a digital trunked mobile system and provides for up to 15,000 hand sets in 100 private, stand-alone networks for Games personnel in operational roles including security, transportation and emergency services.
Some of the Millennium network will be left in place after the Games, enabling a range of venues to offer broadcasting capabilities of international standard. The remainder of the equipment will be integrated into Telstras national network.Samsung will use the Olympics to launch its mobile phones, pager and radio systems on the Australian market. The company will provide a total of 25,000 phones, two-way radios and pagers to be used by officials, volunteers, athletes, spectators and media. It is providing mobile phones for the public and competing athletes so they can make free three minute calls to friends and family.
The Olympics are a 17-day event, but have been almost a decade in the planning. Apart from the 260,000 athletes, media, officials and volunteers who will participate in the Games, more than 2 million spectators will attend them, 3.5 to 4 billion people will watch them on television and millions will keep up with the action over the Internet.Not only are these the biggest Games ever held, they are by far the most technologically advanced. By the end of September many world records will have been broken, not only on the track and in the pool, but in cyberspace.