Fly with Airwave

Airwave, the leading provider of critical voice and data communications to public service organisations in Great Britain, has successfully trialled and tested the communication network to be used during the London 2012 Games, including a system that uses equipment deployed in light aircraft, in support of the three cycling

According to Martin Benké, UK Network Services Director, Airwave: “The London 2012 road cycling events present some unique challenges for us, especially given the length of the course and attendant issues around logistics and traffic management.”

Martin went on to say that “we were able to deploy a solution by using radio repeater equipment operated from two light aircraft flying above, which relayed radio signals from users on the ground to the control centre and vice versa. The talk traffic was in turn taken back to the LOCOG Technical Operations Centre in Canary Wharf via VOIP”.

“We deployed an additional two mobile base stations, providing coverage to various venue control centres: one at Hampton Court Palace and the other at Box Hill. These were connected back into the main Apollo network,” adds Martin.

A temporary and entirely separate analogue UHF/ VHF radio system was also deployed, providing communications between the race convoy, as it moved around the course, and the race control centre.

In order to cope with the projected increase in demand, coverage for the TETRA private mobile radio (PMR) service – known as Apollo – was enhanced for the test event that took place on 14 August 2011.

Top cyclists from around the world will pass through six London boroughs, with the start/finish taking place at the Mall in London. The men’s Olympic road cycling race takes place on Saturday, 28 July 2012 over a distance of 250km (approximately 156 miles). The women’s race, which takes place on Sunday, 29 July 2012, will cover an area of 140km (approximately 87 miles).

The Olympic Cycling Time Trial will be taking place on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 for both the men and women. The route will commence at Hampton Court Palace and go through the London Boroughs of Richmond and Kingston and the Surrey borough of Elmbridge.


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