About the Olympic Delivery Authority
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is the public body responsible for developing and building the new venues and existing infrastructure, including transport networks, for the London 2012 Games and thereafter. As part of the transport network to support the games 24 public park and ride centres were created at all major venues across the UK from Hampden Park, Scotland, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Stratford, London to Brands Hatch, Kent.
Identified as hubs each centre provided:
- Public car & cycle parking
- Private charter and taxi parking
- Shuttle buses or walk to venue routes
- Special needs vehicle
History & Background
Visitors to the London 2012 Games were encouraged to use public transport wherever possible and as such the Olympic Delivery Authority provided park and ride facilities at 24 hub locations. Instant, reliable communications was the key to a smooth operation, remote management of hubs and the allocation of vehicular resources.
Affini were asked to provide, monitor and maintain the communication network in advance of the torch relay until the end of the Paralympics in September.
Critical to the success and the customer experience of the games was the efficiency of the park & ride facilities. This required instant and reliable communications across each hub, to other hubs aligned by event or geography and to enable senior supervisors and managers to talk no matter what the location in the UK.
These communications tools were deemed mission critical which meant they had to be:
- Resilient to natural or man-made disasters
- Managed to provide 24/7 communications support
- Capable of providing over the air dynamic regrouping
Approach & Recommendations
Affini reviewed several available technologies that individually could meet parts of the ODA’s requirements and after the presentation to the ODA and a scientific evaluation of coverage strengths we recommended the combined use of two solutions:
- Push-to-Talk (PTT) over cellular for UK-wide coverage
- Digital radio network for the 15 hubs within M25 (Greater London)
In the event of an emergency situation, the radio network would remain operational and unaffected by the actions of blue-light services police, fire, ambulance and congestion likely to be caused by the public cellular network.
Affini enabled the ODA to ensure instant reliable communications across all UK locations using both cellular and radio devices.
Each hub was set up to enable operations staff to talk in multiple groups, as required, at their site in a consistent way.
Each hub was configured with the same channel profile e.g. 1 = common to all on that site, 2 = local back-to-back mode. So anyone visiting a new hub would know to communicate on channel 1 to hear all messages.
Affini remotely managed user groups and these, at the request of the ODA, could be reprogrammed (changed) at any time over the air.
This was vital in the time between the Olympics and the Paralympics as resources were reassigned to different places so all devices needed updating.