Research can often seem unlinked to the real world, but €12m of financing for research that has the goal to 'deliver more than 1 Gigabit bandwidth for each member of the crowd at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, right in time for the 2020 Olympics' has just been announced by the European Commission and Japan.
Why the European Commission, when the Olympics are on the other side of the world? Well because the EU wants to ensure a world-wide standard for fifth generation (5G) mobile services.
"It’s not enough to have a beautiful smart phone – it needs to work everywhere you want it to work. Investments in fast broadband research will repay taxpayers many times over. Europe is leading efforts to make 5G a reality."Vice-President of the European Commission @NeelieKroesEU, responsible for the Digital Agenda
We are not sure about the actual amount of bandwidth that will actually be available to everyone, the stadium is expected to have a capacity of 80,000 which if the wording is correct means capacity of 80,000 Gbps or 80 Tbps (Terra bits per second). To put this into content the total LINX traffic is peaking at 2.2 Tbps each day currently and that is a LOT more than 80,000 people.
The other major issue is that while the fibre infrastructure to deliver this is beyond your usual run of the mill enterprise fibre switch the most difficult part will be using Wi-Fi services such as 802.11ad and 5G to deliver these speeds to people and filling the stadium with enough access points. Though this is the point of research to try and find solutions to what seem impossible to solve problems, and a key point is that the devices people are using would need to be compatible, so the consumer hardware needs to be finalised and on the market for a good year or more before the event.