Ooredoo, the official Middle East & Africa telecom operator of Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022, said that it will enable everyone in Qatar to access its pioneering 5G network, making the event the first 5G-powered World Cup in history.
All stadiums will be covered by the 5G network, meaning access to high-speed internet - with download speeds expected to exceed 1Gbps - and seamless reliability for fans attending matches.
Long anticipating the phenomenal demand for connectivity expected at the event, Ooredoo’s years of investment in innovation and technology have ensured it is now perfectly placed to deliver seamless connectivity and a vastly enhanced experience for both fans residing in Qatar and those visiting from overseas.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, Deputy Group CEO and CEO of Ooredoo Qatar said: “We have spared no effort in preparing for this, the most momentous occasion in Qatar’s sporting history, and are more than ready to step up and show the world what we can do. Our strategy has long included investment in innovation and technology, both to ensure we can provide the best products and services to our customers and to ensure we are prepared for events such as this one. This investment is undeniably evident in our readiness to deliver an unrivalled experience to all attending Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022”
The company has outlined its extensive preparations for the sporting mega-event, sharing details of its full readiness to lay on a never-before-seen experience to all attending whether as a football fan or as an integral part of operations.
Full network modernisation
Ooredoo completed a full 4G/5G mobile network modernisation in preparation for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022TM, incorporating the very latest, most advanced equipment and functionalities.
This upgrade ensured proper network capacity and resiliency throughout all network components – RAN, Core and Transport – for both national and international segments, and included full modernisation of its core, with a sophisticated cloud core network in state-of-the-art data centres.
A major upgrade of radio sites with the latest 5G technology was intended to maximise country-level coverage, including stadiums, airports, rail networks, fan zones and other Fifa-related facilities. Enhanced capacity for fan zones and other event venues and hotspots will ensure crowds can be adequately catered for.
More than 8,466 multi-beam antennas connect over 500km of RF cables and over 202km of fibre optic, covering the eight stadiums indoor Mobile 4G and 5G network. The areas surrounding the stadiums are covered with 41 smart pole ODAS solution and more than 45 outdoor Macro full fledge capacity sites. Mobile network services with 5,000+ cells, TETRA services and Wi-Fi backbone will offer state-of-the-art 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G technologies at all eight stadiums.
Ensuring safe margin Fifa traffic requirements
Network enhancements included upgrades of Ooredoo’s National and International Transport IP links capacity, ensuring abundant bandwidth for internet connectivity with international servers for popular OTT applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, WhatsApp and more.
Customer experience measurement devices will be deployed in stadiums and fan zones to monitor in real-time the main applications being used by fans.
These upgrades also ensure the provision of high-quality voice calls and an excellent roaming experience, which will enable customers and broadcasters to stay connected with their international home destinations.
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (ML) in Fifa operations
A focused taskforce comprising more than 400 experts will handle operations from a centralised state-of-the-art Service Operation Centre, supported by a network of multiple remote hubs and field operations round-the-clock.
Ooredoo made sure to hire technical experts with experience in major global events such as the Super Bowl or previous World Cup tournaments to support during the 2022 tournament.
The company has also requested major telecom suppliers to enhance their support framework and service assurance requirements during the period of the event with uplifted SLAs.
Extensive testing of services involving the research and development teams have been carried out, to ensure world-class 5G experiences will be delivered when the World Cup swings by.
Customer experience will be managed in a proactive and automated way.
Ooredoo will also liaise closely with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, as well as with the Qatar Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) to facilitate successful Fifa operations.
Deploying cutting-edge AI-driven technology
Ooredoo has introduced a new AI-powered process of identity authentication and SIM card activation to speed up and simplify its onboarding process, ahead of the expected influx of visitors to the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022TM.
The service deploys a sophisticated AI-based digital Know Your Customer (KYC) technology, whereby customers need simply take a selfie photo and upload a digital copy of their official ID document, and the new digital KYC solution will match the two to establish the real identity of users in the digital world.
An AI-powered Virtual Voice Assistant, utilising Google Contact Center Artificial Intelligence, will be available 24/7 to assist customers in nine different languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic.
“We have had extensive experience of supporting significant sporting events as part of our longstanding relationship with Fifa and other major sporting bodies,” Sheikh Mohammed continued.
“We were National Supporter of Fifa Club World Cup Qatar 2019 and 2020, and sponsors of the World Athletics Championships 2019, Fifa Arab Cup Qatar 2021 and the F1 Ooredoo Qatar Grand Prix 2021. All of these events afforded us the opportunity to test ourselves as we approached Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022, an event for which we are now more than prepared.”
The telco leader’s preparations for the mega-event, including network upgrades, mean it will be capable of reliably supporting the many media partners coming to Doha to share the event with the world.
Ooredoo will provide global telecommunications services to all media rights licensees in Qatar to cover this landmark international event. This includes the connection of approximately 50 event broadcasters around the world to the Ooredoo network and the Qatar International Broadcasting Centre to transmit live video and data, providing tournament carriers with the quality and flexibility needed to produce and distribute broadcast video content.
Internet on the go with connected buses
Connectivity while on the go – a crucial requirement for key personnel in the event – also formed part of preparations, with Ooredoo’s commitment to, and investment in, innovation and technology yet again leveraged for the benefit of Fifa, the event and its participants.
More than 350 Fifa buses that will be used to transport players, match officials and media representatives have been provided with mobile broadband, with some 300 of these also fitted with managed Wi-Fi systems.
“Right now, the excitement is palpable and we cannot wait for the event to kick off; both so we can showcase our unrivalled network, products and services, and so we can support our country as it takes its rightful place on the global sporting stage. We welcome everyone to Qatar; we wish the best of luck to all the teams; and may the best team win!” Sheikh Mohammed concluded. –
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