By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – With hundreds of thousands about to descend on the Cidade Maravilhosa for the 2016 Olympic Games, the demand for telecommunications bandwidth will be greatest the city has ever seen. On Wednesday, June 8th, América Móvil Group announced that the three biggest telecommunications companies in Brazil, Claro, Net and Embratel will work together to ensure the city is ready to meet the heavy demand during the Games.
Claro, Net and Embratel are subsidiaries of América Móvil Group, a Mexican telecommunications corporation considered the largest wireless service provider in South America.
At yesterday’s announcement América Móvil revealed that it estimated that data traffic and internet activity for the Rio Olympics will be four times greater than the London Olympics only four years ago.
To prepare for this unprecedented broadband demand, in the past several years the company has invested R$30 billion in various infrastructure projects in Brazil.
“We already have a robust infrastructure, one of the largest in Latin America, and on the very specific demands of the needs of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), we had to create more infrastructure, some temporary,” said Marcello Miguel, Embratel’s director of business and marketing.
The bulk of the Olympics telecommunications load will be handled by the Backbone Olímpico (Olympic Backbone) Embratel network of more than 370 kilometers of fiber optics, which will have forty Gigabits per second speed, connecting more than 60,000 network access points, distributed in more than one hundred venues.
Embratel will also provide the fiber optic network that will capture the video signals of all the Olympic competitions in all the various venues and deliver them to the International Broadcast Center where they will then be broadcast to about five billion viewers in over two hundred countries.
To prepare for the mobile data traffic, Claro has expanded its mobile coverage with the installation of 97 new 3G and 4G base stations. Meanwhile, Net has installed 12,000 pay TV base stations, 10,000 fixed telephone lines and 8,000 WiFi access points around Rio, Olympic Village and competition venues.
According to Miguel, the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paraolympics will be “the most connected in the history of the Games.”