When the Opening Ceremony begins at the Winter Olympics & Paralympics in Sochi it would have already faced numerous challenges, not only in the political spectrum but also in the complex matter of providing infrastructure for the vast amounts of athletes, spectators and journalists that will be arriving in Russia for Friday. Especially in the harsh climate befitting such Games.
It is claimed that the Winter Olympics will be the most advanced ever in terms of technology to connectivity. People arriving by Aeroflot have already been promised WiFi connectivity on some flights
As far as overland is concerned, Russian Railways are building the key transport route of the Sochi games — a combined road and railway line between Adler and the Alpica-Service mountain health resort.
From the resort, it will be possible to get to the Sanki Sliding Center and other Olympic facilities. The line stretches for 30 miles, passing through 12 tunnels and over 46 bridges. The combined length of roads built for the project exceeds 80 miles.
Another new railway line will connect the centre of Sochi and the local airport. Estimated travel time will be under one hour. The line will be served by Lastochka trains. This new type of electric locomotive, based on the Siemens Desiro design, has been developed for commuter transportation in the Russian environment, under both humid and icing conditions. Furthermore, these units will be the first trains in Russia to have wheelchair lifts fitted. In fact, all Russian Railways facilities in Sochi have been built or retrofitted to provide step free access.
Special care has been taken to ensure uninterrupted mobile and Internet connectivity at peak times with over 700 new 2G/3G/4G cell towers now in place.
Sochi 2014 will be the first Olympic Games to offer 4G connectivity at a speed of 10 MB/sec. Subscribers to other operators will be able to access roaming services through the settings menu of their mobile devices.
The entire Olympics transportation and telecom infrastructure will be preserved in and around Sochi after the Games, not least for Sochi’s role as a host city in the FIFA World Cup 2018, turning this resort area into one of the most technologically advanced and developed regions in Russia. Many of the innovations being tried and tested in Sochi will then be rolled out elsewhere across Russia.