Countdown to the London 2012 Games
With four weeks to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Ofcom is gearing up for what promises to be one of the biggest sporting spectacles of all time.
A global audience of over 4 billion is expected to tune in and with around 26,000 members of the world’s media basing themselves in the capital to cover the Games, London 2012 is also set to be the biggest media event in history.
But much of what you will see on your TV screens will depend on something you can’t see – spectrum.
Spectrum is the airwaves on which all wireless communications rely.
The UK’s airwaves are already among the most intensively used in the world and the London 2012 Games will significantly increase demand.
This demand will be fuelled by the increasing use of wireless technologies by broadcasters, such as wireless cameras and wireless microphones, which will deliver dramatic and close-up action coverage.
The extensive use of walkie-talkies by the organisers, talkback systems for broadcasters, timing and scoring systems and sports commentary systems for the audience, will also be essential for the organisation of the Games..
However, Ofcom has been working on a plan since 2006 to ensure that viewers will not miss any of the sporting action.
This includes working behind the scenes to make extra spectrum capacity available to meet the increased demand.
Ofcom has also built a spectrum assignment system that will manage access to spectrum, making it available for those who need it and ensuring that we use it efficiently.
Ofcom will be deploying an especially large team of radio engineers to track down and deal with any cases of interference that do occur.
Ofcom is supplementing its field engineering team with expert colleagues from other European countries.
And in addition, a modern sensor network has also been built across the country to identify any potential interference issues before they arise and pinpoint any issues for action. .
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