Only two hundred people can pass through a golf course a day. If that same space is chosen to host an edition of the Ryder Cup, the audience may exceed 250,000 fans. How to ensure that the network infrastructure can support the traffic of such a large number of users? How to achieve that hole in one, the dream of any golfer? In this edition of the prestigious tournament, which takes place between this Thursday and next Sunday at the Roman Marco Simone field, the organization has trusted the technology company Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to offer that network coverage. While teams with the best players from the United States and Europe compete, HPE engineers ensure that the private 5G networks deployed for this occasion with integrated Wi-Fi operate smoothly.
In this case, HPE is offering the private 5G Athonet solution together with HPE Aruba Networking. Those responsible explain that “for the first time they will offer new ultra-secure capabilities, greatly expanded coverage and improved experiences for golf fans and staff on an unprecedented scale at one of the most prestigious sporting events.” The Ryder Cup is among the sporting competitions with the greatest international impact, only behind the World Cup final, of the Olympic or Super Bowl Games As such, it presents unique connectivity challenges for organizers.
The Marco Simone golf course covers an area similar to that of 150 football fields, to continue the simile with the beautiful sport. It is also an area protected by the archaeological ruins that are preserved there.. Both fans and the event organization require ubiquitous high-bandwidth connectivity at all times. “Each Ryder Cup gives us the opportunity to push the boundaries of technological innovation to maximize the fan experience, so it’s really exciting to break genuinely new ground with the combination of the most powerful Wi-Fi and private 5G technology,” comments Michael Cole, chief technology officer of the European Tour and Ryder Cup Europe group, in a media meeting. “Private 5G brings enormous operational advantages and benefits in particular, providing us with a completely private network that will not be affected by the crowd. Delivers high demand for high bandwidth applications and provides full course coverage for cellular devices providing critical services such as security, administration, ticketing and scoring that might otherwise have relied on local telecommunications networks under pressure “, has added.
The 150 HPE professionals who are working on this edition of the Ryder Cup are in charge of maintaining public Wi-Fi, the signal for television coverage, statistics, and cyber threats (80 detected before the competition started). official competition), of the four apps developed for mobile phones… Yes, there is an application for referees or marshalls’ in which they receive incidents, another app for the general public in which they can check the results and level occupancy of each stand, another exclusive for the organizers and another for the players, in which they can consult the weather at each tee of each hole, information that is updated every three seconds and that is key for the players. . Regarding data collection, they capture 15 for each stroke of each player. We ask the person responsible for the entire deployment if they have considered including a sensor in the balls, to which he responds: “The tournament regulations do not allow it at the moment and the balls belong to the players, but other external sensors allow us to locate each ball at all times,” explains Cole.
HPE sources define private 5G as a restricted access and ultra-secure network that provides bandwidth to a business. “The network is less prone to latency problems and is only used for highly specialized and customized applications. Business organizations use private 5G networks for applications such as robotics and industrial IoT, as well as for demanding security systems.” The same sources explain that the network takes advantage of the latest Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E technologies, offering double capacity than there was at the Paris 2018 Olympic Games across more than 800 Wi-Fi access points. The backbone of the network is built with 200 HPE Aruba Networking CX switches. As is often the case in these cases, the Those responsible for this infrastructure trust that there will be no more to talk about it, which will be a sign that the entire technical deployment has worked as expected. HPE details the three major steps necessary to install a private 5G network. The first move consists in acquiring public radio frequencies, owned by the government, with the same spectrum that the main telecommunications operators acquired at the time in the respective public tenders. Often, “these frequencies come at a high cost,” but without them everything else is not possible. Next, the technology company must have the tools and equipment necessary for the deployment of the network, with infrastructure such as base stations, antennas, towers and other technical assets. Finally, Private 5G requires a “managed service provider”, responsible for the supervision and maintenance of the network, “with an intentional and personalized design for specific needs”, as well as a system manager.
On the other hand, the consulting firm CapGemini has also pitched in at the event, as a technology provider, as it will do at the 2025 Ryder Cup in Farmingdale (New York) and in County Limerick, Ireland, in 2027. In If applicable, it will put its capabilities in digital transformation at the service of the organization. As with HPE, values such as talent, team spirit and high performance are part of the multinational’s ideology.