TeliaSonera have signed with YLE to undertake the provision of the tellecomunication fibre connections required for the transmission of the semi final and the final of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki. Furthermore, they will be responsible for the provision of the telecommunication connections for the media centre at the Helsinki Fair Centre.
500 desks with computers, voice and data connections and a wireless LAN will be provided for the members of the press. 300 laptops will be at the reporters' disposal but it will be also possible for members of the international press to use their own equipment, accessing directly the high speed LAN or WLAN provided. TeliaSonera promise that provisions will be made so that there won't be any delay in the systems even during rush hour when all workstations will be in full use.
Due to the nature of the contest, reliable and interference free, high-speed, high-quality telecommunication connections are necessary. TeliaSonera plan to duplicate all major connections to ensure that there will be no disruption to the flow of the transmission. "Duplication is the key. For our part, we want to make sure that over 100 million spectators can keep their fingers crossed for their favourites without having to worry about interference in international broadcast service," says TeliaSonera's Timo Lahtinen, responsible for the project's production.
15 duplicated fibre pairs will transmit the signal from Hartwall Arena to YLE's production facilities in Pasila and from there to the rest of the world. "YLE will assure the whole Eurovision Song Contest 2007 production technology with double or even triple backups, and this goes for all the signals. This is because the broadcast goes live to over 50 countries and cannot under any circumstances be interrupted. We won't want to use any "Just a minute" banners in this case," says YLE Executive producer Heikki Seppälä. Most of the fibre capacity needed is in place, and the building of additional capacity is underway.
Finally, TeliaSonera is also responsible for the international voice connections in the commentator's boxes. There will be 37 commentator's boxes built in total and TeliaSonera will make sure that the voices of your favourite (or not so favourite) commentators get to you flawlessly throughout the contest.