Having a ball: how Orange is helping deliver connectivity to one of the world's biggest sports events this summer.

UEFA EURO 2016™ will be bigger than ever before. The new 24 team format means more matches than ever (51) and more fans than ever (2.5 million) attending matches at 10 stadiums throughout France. That means tens of thousands of football fans who expect to be connected at all times in and around the stadium and Fan Zones, and also millions of fans around the world who want to join in via all sorts of devices. How do you go about delivering that?
A big sporting event requires big connectivity and a provider capable of delivering that. That is why UEFA – the Union of European Football Associations organizing the UEFA EURO 2016™ tournament in France, chose to work with Orange to provide all telecommunication services required for the tournament (Video and Audio network, IP network, Wi-Fi, etc) for their own needs, corporate sponsors’ needs, and finally for the fans around the world.
Expectant users demand the best.
In order to meet this challenge Orange has been working for 4 years to define the project, install the IP network and carry out rigorous testing whilst working closely with UEFA. UEFA EURO 2016™ will see over 800 Orange employees working on the project which has 10 separate locations, plus the International Broadcast Center (IBC), with matches taking place simultaneously in different places around France. 10 stadiums have been chosen, with France’s national stadium Stade de France in Paris plus stadiums in Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne, Nice, Lens and Toulouse. The historic Parc des Princes in Paris completes the list. All told, 51 matches will be played throughout the tournament across those venues, with an average venue capacity of 48,800 people. That is a lot of end-users to keep happy with great connectivity.
Ultimately, all of these end-users want to know that they can stay connected anywhere in the stadium or in fan zones and enjoy their UEFA EURO 2016™-related content. Similarly, thousands of journalists attending and reporting on the tournament also need to be sure that there is reliable connectivity and they can do their jobs. But how does this all happen? What goes on in the background to ensure everyone can get online as they want?
The technical solutions.
Orange is proud to join UEFA EURO 2016™ as Global Sponsor and Official Telecommunications Service Provider of UEFA EURO 2016™ and has committed the necessary resources to the project. By the start of the tournament in June around 800 Orange staff will be working to bring superfast, reliable connectivity to the competition’s stadiums and the International Broadcast Center and also thousands of journalists.

The stadiums throughout France will be equipped with 4G mobile connectivity for fans, to let them enjoy sharing the match experience with their friends and share photos and content via social media, plus in-stadium Wi-Fi technology for media and UEFA staff. Orange has installed 2 x 100 GB fiber optic cables in each stadium to carry IP and audio/video flows.

Outside the stadiums, fiber cables connect the IBC up and enable it to broadcast video and audio all over the world, delivering a truly connected tournament.  The IBC is responsible for ensuring that fans all over the world get to watch matches on television, with a cumulative audience of 8 billion viewers across the globe expected to tune in. 

Orange Event Solutions is also providing its expertise to other companies, suppliers and activities around UEFA EURO 2016™, such as offering high-speed, reliable connectivity in fan zones, team hotels and bases, training centers and media centers, to help fans, players and journalists stay online, all the time. More than 200 Orange employees are involved in this project. 

Orange Event Solutions specializes in providing solutions for sporting occasions and other major events.  They have previously worked on several world-renowned events in multiple sports. UEFA EURO 2016™ however is an unprecedented challenge.

Delivering a fully-connected tournament.

All through the project, Orange has remained committed to providing a great end-user experience – no matter who the end-user is. From fans on the ground to VIPs to the watching TV audience of billions, UEFA EURO 2016™ will be the most connected sporting event ever. We hope you enjoy it.