Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 08:43 UK

Ofcom prepares Olympics airwaves

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London could become the wireless Olympics

Regulator Ofcom is looking at the best way to provide new spectrum in London during the 2012 Olympics.

Demands on the airwaves will be huge as thousands of wireless devices will be used during the games to serve athletes, officials and broadcasters.

Ofcom is considering temporarily borrowing spectrum from public sector bodies such as the Ministry of Defence.

It believes that it can set aside a sufficient amount of spectrum without having a major impact on current users.

Wireless mics

Other options include using existing civil spectrum more efficiently and using license-exempt spectrum for activities that require low power such as operating remote-controlled cameras.

Wireless devices will be crucial to the smooth running of the games.

Private mobile radios will make sure that the London Organising Committee and athletes can keep in touch at the 36 games venues across the UK.

Such radios will be vital for communicating from land to sea during the sailing events at Portland Harbour.

Wireless microphones will be used for the opening and closing ceremonies and by broadcasters for commentary and interviews with athletes.

Wireless cameras will be used by broadcasters, including airborne coverage for events such as the marathons.

Wi-fi hotspots will be made available for spectators.

The Olympics will serve 14,500 athletes, 20,000 broadcasters in 200 countries and transmit to 5bn viewers globally.

Ofcom is set to consult on the best way to provide spectrum for the Olympics until August. A full plan will be published by the end of the year.

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