Go to content

Industry Report

Industry reports, briefs and video-clips issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

ICT Information and Communication Technologies to be Newly Introduced in the 2012 London Olympics

ICT Information and Communication Technologies to be Newly Introduced in the 2012 London Olympics

CHOI Eunjeong

July 27, 2012


Welcome to our video program. I'm Eunjeong CHOI from the Industry and Strategy Department I.

There is an international sports festival held every four years, and they are the Olympic games. In the Olympic games, the topic that attracts the greatest attention is usually who wins a gold medal. However, for the hosting country and organizations, what comes first is how to report the games and the atmosphere vividly to the audience around the world. They employ a variety of new technologies for successful broadcasting of the games. As there are a number of new technologies that made their debut at the Olympic games, some even say that “the history of the Olympic games is directly linked to that of broadcasting and telecommunications.”

The Berlin Olympics held in 1936 was the first time the games were ever televised. However, at that time, there was only one camera used for televising, and only a limited audience of 160,000 people could watch the games on TV. Meanwhile, the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 was the first to be relayed via satellite on color television. The official webpage for the Olympic games was first established for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In addition, intercast service, with which the audience can watch the games via the Web, was first introduced during these Olympics, and served as a crucial opportunity for promoting the convergence of broadcasting and telecommunication.

London Olympics can be characterized by three terms, “Internet televising, 3D and super HD.” British broadcaster, the BBC, is planning to air high-definition footage of the Olympic games via the internet so that the general public can enjoy watching the games through their computers, tablet PCs and smart phones as well as TVs. Additionally, the opening ceremony and highlights will be broadcast via three dimensional images. What is more, for super-HD broadcasting, which provides images 16 times clearer than HD images, the BBC will build three large-sized screens in three regions of the UK.

However, internet televising, and 3D and super-HD broadcasting can be successfully realized only when a transport network is well secured. British Telecommunications (BT), who is in charge of managing and operating the network for the Olympics, has been working to establish a super-high speed network to cover peak-hour traffic, which is likely to reach 60 gigabits per second. Through the network, video images of the games will be transmitted to broadcasting stations around the world, and pictures of the games or athletes will be sent to press centers. At the same time, staff members stationed at different stadiums will contact one another through the network. Numerous video clips of the games will also be transmitted to households. Moreover, for the first time in history, wireless communications technology will also be introduced at the London Olympics. With this technology, about 20% of the audience in the main stadium can simultaneously watch a video clip on their smart phones without experiencing disco nnection or delay.

In addition to the cutting-edge technologies, the London Olympics will introduce “Socialympics,” a combination of social media and the Olympics. The London 2012 Organizing Committee announced that they will utilize various social network services including Twitter and Facebook during the Olympic games. While providing sufficient information on the games via social network services, the committee will also allow the audience to upload pictures and video clips they took themselves on the Internet.

An official from the organizing committee said, “At the time of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, high-speed internet was not available. And, we didn’t have smart phones when the 2004 Olympic games were held in Athens. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, there were not many social network users like today. However, we are now living in an era where everyone can communicate with each other through various channels regardless of time and place.” He predicted that the 2012 London Olympics will kick off the history of socialolympics. Indeed, while there were only about 6 million Twitter users and 100 million Facebook users at the time of the Beijing Olympics, but the number has sharply increased to 140 million and 900 million, respectively, as of 2012.

The London Olympics will produce about 9 trillion won in economic effects by employing information and communication technologies that keep up with the trend. As well as delivering enormous profits to the host country, it will also give ample business opportunities to Korean companies. Above all, as the necessity and functionality of 3D TVs are further highlighted during the London Olympics, Korean TV makers, already ranked top in the world, are expected to draw great attention from consumers around the world.

Neowiz Internet, a Korean game company, developed a smart phone game of nine Olympic events including shooting, archery, track and field, swimming and kayaking, and launched it worldwide as an official “2012 London Olympics” game after signing an exclusive global licensing deal with the International Olympics Committee (IOC). In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Korean game maker Zio Interactive launched a mobile game “2008 Beijing Olympics” and earned 3 billion won in sales within three months after the launch.

Other companies can also find special business opportunities and make profits during the Olympic games, one of the biggest international festivals in the world.

Thank you for watching. I'm Eunjeong CHOI.

Go to list