BT has announced that it has deployed a military-grade 4G network in Bermuda that will be used by Ben Ainslie's Land Rover BAR sailing team in the America's Cup.
The network will be used by the team to transmit data from the boat to a fixed connection on shore, which BT has also deployed and will manage, and this data will then be sent on to the team's support base in Portsmouth.
The support team will then analyse the data and suggest tactics and boat adjustments to help give the team the best chance of success at the event, under a setup dubbed the Virtual Chase Boat.
The network BT has installed uses the 2043.5 MHz spectrum band in the UK and Bermuda and should allow a total of 16GB of data to be transmitted each race day from the boat to shore.
This marks a major change in tactics to how this is normally done, as most teams in the America's Cup rely on support staff in speedboats following behind the teams that collect and analyse data.
Sir Ben Ainslie, team principal and skipper for Land Rover BAR, said that the use of the Virtual Chase Boast should help improve the team's chances of success, and reduce its carbon impact.
"The development of the Virtual Chase Boat allows us to move the data assessment ashore and keep it in Portsmouth wherever we race in the world," he said.
"This is a new operational model for our sport and removes a powerboat from the water every sailing day, significantly reducing the team's carbon footprint and increasing our efficiency."
BT will also provide two support staff to help the support team analyse and act on the data being supplied, and Howard Watson, CEO, BT Technology and Service Operations (TSO) said the firm was hopeful it support would set the team on the path to success.
"Our networking and big data expertise will help the teams on both sides of the Atlantic to deliver better performance from the boat," he said.
"It's all about our ability to help the support teams and crew to make better tactical decisions through access to better quality data in real time."
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