Telecom sector aligned system network in record time for U-17 WC

MUMBAI: While the entire country has been enjoying the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 and fans have been cheering for their favourite teams and players non-stop, the telecom players have been spending their days and night to ensure a seamless communication network in the six host cities. 

The Telecom Industry managed to put on-air over 59 critical sites for the tournament in six cities within a record time. Some of these cities also included permanent sites, MBTS, IBS.

The matches are being held in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Goa and Kochi. Along with the stadiums, the network has been strengthened at the training grounds of the 24 participating teams in all six cities and the hotels where the players will be staying.

Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI

Speaking on the preparedness and this timely feat accomplished in record time, Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said: “Telcos are geared-up to provide seamless network connectivity to all the participating teams, organisers, broadcasters, media and the most importantly, spectators and international visitors. Telecom services are essential for such large-scale events and it is a matter of pride for all of us that we managed to put up a safe and secure infrastructure and flawless connectivity in such a small span of time. We are also thankful to DoT for all the support being provided in all the locations to make it a success, which was not possible without their guidance and leadership. This is a mega event for our country and we all want to give the best experience to the visiting teams and fans who are coming from different parts of the world.”

A total of 24 teams are participating in the mega sporting event, drawing around 50,000 spectators, managed by 5,000 organiser personnel apart from security, ground staff amongst others. Around one lakh foreign spectators are expected to attend. Cognisant of the fact that connectivity and access is one of the key elements for the success of a tournament of this scale, the DoT has left no stone unturned to work with the industry in facilitating access to these sites.

“For our country this is a matter of great pride and the industry received all possible support from our Minister Shri Manoj Sinha and his team for timely access to these critical sites. RoW has been an issue for the sector and models such as these are great examples of a truly collaborative public private partnership,” added Mathews.

Preparation for the event began with DoT conducting joint surveys of the cities and individual sites with the Local Organising Committee of FIFA for estimating the upgradation required of existing infrastructure as well as to identify the additional new mobile tower sites, optical fibre cable, backhaul, etc. that are required. 

It is estimated that 100,000 foreign visitors will be coming to India during the course of the tournament and will require local SIMs. Telcos are working closely with FIFA team to ensure preparedness in terms of Subscriber Verification Process for foreigners to enable SIM availability to all the 24 teams. Kiosks/Stalls have been set-up at airports at these six cities to ensure availability of SIMs to all the foreign spectators arriving in India for the tournament.

The tournament kicked off on 6th October and will end on 28th October in Kolkata. The final match will be played at Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan (VYBK).