Volvo IT ready to meet Volvo Ocean Race demands

Millions of people from all over the world will be watching the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, yet very few of them will realise how reliant they are on Volvo IT. At each of the ten ports, an official race village is set up, where Volvo IT use the latest state of the art technique for the set-up.


Per Berlin, Project Manager for the Volvo Ocean Race at Volvo IT and his “Mission IT” team will be responsible for the set-up, delivery and dismantling of the entire IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, networks, wireless internet coverage, and constant IT support. They will create a complete mobile built-to-migrate IT system capable of transmitting huge amounts of data, often from isolated locations and across vast distances.

The Mission IT team
“We have to be a multi-talented team,” says Per Berlin, Volvo IT Project Manager for the Volvo Ocean Race. “Apart from IT competences, the job can involve everything from power supplies, using boats and climbing tall structures such as buildings or antenna masts.”

The IT platform ensures network access and availability for the Volvo Ocean Race staff, media visiting the race, and participating teams. A key aspect is running the media centres from an IT perspective at each stopover, enabling the transmission of gigabytes of data and providing hands-on, IT support. Volvo IT also secures the transport of live feeds of audio and video from the race villages to the global media companies and across the worldwide web.

“Media coverage will be constant and in real time, so the tolerance is very small. There is no allowance for buffering or relapses,” says Per. “More and more media outlets are using high definition TV footage, so the sheer volume of data will be much bigger than previous races.”

Volvo IT has been the official supplier for the last two Volvo Ocean Races, but the demands of this year’s race are higher than ever before. The technology they use has to keep up.

“We have the whole Volvo IT backing us up and we are utilizing the company’s experience of supporting more than 200,000 PC users globally and the latest state-of-the-art technology,” continues Per.

One of the most exciting additions to the 2011-12 race is the Mini Link PT 6010, a new all-outdoor microwave terminal from Ericsson, which is capable of delivering high capacity IP/Ethernet traffic. Only recently released on the market, this brand new product offers transfer speeds of one gigabyte per second over distances of several kilometres. Mini Link uses a previously unused band frequency and this is the first time it is used as part of a global sport event.

The Volvo IT team will also be using Riverbed traffic optimisers, which will make Internet traffic as compact as possible while in transmission, and as a result increase capacity by 30-40 percent.

Throughout the whole race, in each location, there will be full IT support for both Mac and Windows-based systems, while efforts are being made to authenticate as many different devices as possible, including smartphones and computer tablets.

“I can confidently say we’re ready to provide full IT support for another Volvo Ocean Race,” Concludes Per.

21 October 2011

For more information contact:
Jan Strandhede, Media Relations Manager, Volvo IT. Phone: +46 31 323 37 15.