Olympic ICT Investment in Sochi

As I asserted in my last entry, “Olympic events have Olympic-sized IT budgets. ”

Let’s take a closer look at Sochi 2014.  Several years ago, the Russian federal launched their “Sochi-2014” investment program to develop the infrastructure required to host the upcoming Olympic games.  Among other projects, that program includes plans to build and expand the network of mobile radio communication, fiber optic and radio relay communication lines, and to improve broadcasting, postal and telecommunications services.

According to Network Work Сети online article “Sochi goes online,” of the $12.2 billion allocated in 2007 for the preparation of the Olympic Games in Sochi, $580 million will be spent on modernization of telecommunications infrastructure in the region.  As sponsors of the games, several telecom operators will also contribute and participate in the infrastructure buildout: Rostelecom and Megafon.

In a more recent September 2009 meeting of investors and Olympic organizers, these two sponsors outlined their commitment to the infrastructure buildout:

  • Megafon, the Sochi 2014 Telecommunications/Mobile Partner, outlined to IOC experts their plans to ensure mobile reception at each of the 15 Olympic venues that are situated in the Mountain Cluster (Krasnaya Polyana) and the Coastal Cluster (Imeretskaya Valley).
  • Sochi 2014 General Partner, Rostelecom, announced that its total investment in Games preparation and the development of infrastructure in the South of Russia would be 2 billion Rubles ($34 million) demonstrating that the company is fulfilling its commitment not only to the Games, but to the entire Krasnodar Region.

As one of my colleagues says “Now that’s adult money.”  Olympic games certainly catalyze telecom and other IT investments.


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