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Qatar 2022 – the first-ever FIFA World Cup edition connected through 5G

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is definitely one in which maiden technologies will be deployed, the first-ever fully digital edition of the world football flagship competition. With recently-built, state-of-the-art stadiums, an otherworldly infrastructure, and brand-new technologies, there was hard work put in place for everything to work seamlessly and for the fans to be treated to a superb show.

Hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup was the catalyst for expanding Qatar’s digital economy and broadening its ICT ecosystem, with several high-profile investments being made in emerging industries and driving innovation in digitalization, in 5G, internet of things (IoT), virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality.

One crucial point in the plan put in place to be completed was the 5G technology, which was a mandatory requirement for systems like Hawa’ak and Wain, which both use the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, to work.

According to the Local Organising Committee, Qatar 2022 will be the first-ever 5G-powered edition of the FIFA World Cup in history, with all stadiums covered by the network, meaning access to high-speed internet – with download speeds expected to exceed 1Gbps – and seamless reliability for fans attending matches, even in crowded places, such as stadiums and metro stations.

In the past years, with huge investments, Qatar has made significant strides in expanding all 5G infrastructure throughout the whole country before the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off. A desire to rapidly transition its customer bases to 5G has boosted 5G Availability in the market and has helped Qatar climb to second place in Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index as of July 2022.

According to the top compiled by Ookla just before the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar ranks third in the mobile median speed test per country, after the United Arab Emirates and Norway, with an average of 126.03 Mbps per test.

“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 unrivaled experience to all attending Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022,” said Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, Deputy Group CEO and CEO of Ooredoo Qatar.

Therefore, the FIFA World Cup motivated Qatar to adopt new advancements In 5G connectivity, creating the perfect setting for fans to share their experiences in the country. Domestic provider Ooredoo Qatar and Sweden-headquartered technology giant Ericsson have announced the successful implementation of the world’s first 5G indoor shareable solution in Qatar, achieving speeds of 1.5 Gbps. The Ericsson Indoor Connect 8855 has been commercially deployed in all stadia across Qatar to enhance connectivity in the tournament.

For the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Ooredoo completed a full development of the 4G/5G networks, incorporating the very latest, most advanced equipment and functionalities, creating a state-of-the-art setting for the millions of fans flocking to Qatar to enjoy the competition.

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 modernization 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 maximize country-level coverage, including stadiums, airports, rail networks, and fan zones. Enhanced capacity for fan zones and other event venues and hotspots will ensure crowds can be adequately catered for, with solutions that have already been used at previous events organized by FIFA set in place.

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 solutions 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.

One other feature that was mandatory was to create connectivity on the go for journalists and fans alike, therefore all of the 350 FIFA buses that will be in service to transport players, media representatives, and fans have been provided with mobile broadband, with some 300 of these also fitted with managed Wi-Fi systems.

The 5G connectivity and internet speeds that lifted Qatar to third place in the world for mobile connections have also helped the country’s digital economy, as one of Qatar’s aspirations in their Qatar National Vision 2030 is to accelerate the transformation to a hub for digital technology.

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