With more than 1.5 million international fans expected in Russia across the month-long 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament starting next week, the country has put in place arrangements designed to make sure that the visitors do not feel let down by slow data speed.
To provide a superior mobile broadband experience for hundreds of thousands of football fans attending the tournament, Russian mobile operator MTS has teamed up with Ericsson for deployments of Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology.
Through the intelligent reuse of system resources, Massive MIMO improves capacity by transmitting data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources with coordinated beam forming and beam steering, Ericsson said in a statement on Friday.
"This launch is one of Europe's largest Massive MIMO deployments, covering seven Russian cities, and is a major contribution by MTS in the preparation of the country's infrastructure for the global sporting event of the year," said Andrei Ushatsky, Vice President, Technology and IT, MTS.
"Our Massive MIMO technology, using Ericsson equipment, significantly increases network capacity, allowing tens of thousands of fans together in one place to enjoy high-speed mobile Internet without any loss in speed or quality," Ushatsky added.
With the deployment of this technology, football fans will be able to enjoy higher data speeds in seven of the 11 tournament cities -- whether in the stadiums, in fan zones, selected transportation hot spots, or at some of Russia's most famous landmarks, the statement added.
In Moscow alone, the deployment covers two stadiums and fan zones, Sheremetyevo airport, Red Square, Tverskaya Street and Gorky Central Park.
Saint Petersburg coverage includes stadium and fan zones, Dvortsovaya Square, and Moskovsky railway station.
The other covered cities are Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Niznny Novgorod, Samara, and Rostov-on-Don.
"Hundreds of thousands of football-loving fans are about to experience ultra-high data speeds thanks to our Massive MIMO deployment for MTS across seven tournament cities," said Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Market Area Europe and Latin America, Ericsson.
The month-long tournament gets underway on June 14 and ends on July 15.