Tim Bichara

Mobile and the 2012 London Olympics

With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaching, the potential of mobile technology is fast making London 2012 the most technologically advanced Olympics yet. With an estimated quarter of the operating budget, or £500 million, being spent of Games technology, London 2012 is preparing for vast mobile use across the summer.

The ability for this technology to benefit the greater public is another revolutionary factor in ensuring everyone gets the utmost out of the worldwide event. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are key in capturing both individual moments (to be shared across social network and sharing sites) and for greater sharing – worldwide coverage of the event available through mobile devices.

Mobile technology will be an essential contributor in allowing optimal information to be shared as quickly as possible and there are several exciting options for mobile users to remain connected and instantly share their once in a lifetime moments with their friends, family and the world.

With over 200, 000 spectators and workers expected to be involved in London 2012, the London Olympic Organising Committee, or Locog, promise good Games coverage, incorporating factors of high internet use and capability. Locog also predict that sites relating to London 2012 are set to be the third most popular in the world, just behind Google and Amazon.

Firstly, giant mobile operator, O2, will be providing millions of London residents and tourists the opportunity to use free internet by “launching Europe’s largest free wi-fi zone.”
Launched in the boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea in 2012, O2’s free wi-fi zone will be powered by a system installed on street furniture.

Derek McManus, chief operating officer for O2 announced, “This ground-breaking deal… will see us deliver high-quality connectivity across London in time for London 2012.”
This extremely popular move will allow mobile users to share their live pictures and updates of Olympic events across social networking sites, as well as saving money on expensive mobile costs particularly for overseas visitors.

An exciting prospect for residents and visitors alike, O2‘s service is reported to be at no cost to the taxpayer. This move should be instrumental in conveying the vital nature of mobile technology for London 2012. Implementing free access that does not cost the public, highlights the demand for mobile technology and its inevitable use come July 2012.

Social media feeds have also been generating Olympic excitement with athletes, sponsors and organisers alike frequently publishing updates on Twitter. Exploring individual involvement, social networking can capture an athlete’s personal moments as well as receiving encouragement from fans. Spectators can their update photos and videos with the click of a button, letting their networks see what they are seeing.

During the games, the ability to be updated with up-to-the-minute information will be made even quicker and easier with the likes of Twitter and Facebook, ensuring you don’t miss a thing; “for sports fans, passionate about their sports and reading more on their sports, staying in touch with the competitors and the organisations and the latest news, there isn’t, as yet, a better all-round service.”

China is rumoured to be lending a helping hand by installing a £50m phone network service to operate within London’s Underground. Being described as “a gift from one Olympic nation to another” China’s telecoms company ‘Huawei’, is said to install this network which would be the an effective solution for many busy commuters but additionally a potential terrorist threat. This option however is still under discussion and dependent on many implementing factors.

Live mobile feeds of all the Olympic action is available through ‘Satellite TV for Mobile’ offering unlimited, 24/7, worldwide access; no matter where you are you needn’t miss out on a moment of the action.

This is a particularly attractive option when combined with O2’s free wi-fi access and the decreasing likelihood of obtaining tickets. Live mobile feeds will be both exclusive and inclusive links to the action; creating a fundamental sense of atmosphere that will no doubt translate to the enthusiasm surrounding the Games.

Apps are yet another exciting progression for mobile London 2012. The Android has released an Olympic Calendar app which allows users to view a complete list of the very first event right through to the last. An attractive option for fans, athletes and spectators alike; keeping track of dates and events, an option that will rapidly advance closer to the time.

Further across England, app development focused on the Olympics are gaining momentum. The official Coventry Olympics 2012 mobile app (developed by Gemixin) boasts an ultimate guide to Coventry, focusing in particular on the football events held at the City of Coventry Stadium as well as guides to the city for visitors and residents alike.

Sponsors such as the chocolate giant Cadbury are hosting online competitions to win tickets to events as well as providing a countdown, a fun ‘Spots V Stripes’ dueling campaign and other various incentives that are offered through online participation.


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