What you need to know:
- World Rally’s ICT solutions coordinator says internet service will be excellent
- This service has been praised by the Promoter as “world standard”.
- This confirmed the status of the Safari Rally as a showcase of Kenya's position as a leader in IT services in Africa, said Kimathi.
Walking 20km is literally not a walk in the park even for a reasonably fit man.
World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally ICT solutions coordinator Linus Kimathi has been subjected to these lengths of walks for the better part of last week under varying weather conditions and terrain in Naivasha area to ensure the venue for the Safari Rally offers digital link for anybody with telecommunication devise who is in the vicinity between June 19 to 25.
Together with his colleague, the Service Park Manager Joel Muchiri, who is preparing the Park to start receiving kit for the teams, Kimathi logged in five hours everyday for days to inspect the Fibre Optic lines for the rally.
The lines link the Safari Rally nerve centre at the Wildlife Research and Training Centre in Naivasha town and Dimension Optics main server for Naivasha and its environs at Flamingo Farm, 12km away.
“Basically we are testing fibre links to ascertain that there is no breakage since we last used these lines one year ago,” said Kimathi, noting that this service must be perfect to provide the WRC Promoter's television crew continuous filming, with the material sent directly to editing studios in London for all live and delayed broadcasts beamed to the rest of the world.
The fibre and internet connectivity will also serve thousands of spectators in designated locations at Kedong and Hells Gate who will be following the progress of the Safari from the WRC+ Channel live coverage.
Experience has shown that huge gatherings of crowds affect mobile phone signals, and in the case of the Safari, this means serving over 100,000 spectators gathered together in spectator areas in Kendong, Soysambu and Hells Gate.
Kimathi said they have already reached out to mobile telephone service providers to supply mobile Base Stations to avoid outages in these areas.
Many will be shooting videos of the action and sharing with friends online while others will make phone calls.
Safari Rally will set up large screens in all spectator areas for continuous engagement in the four-day event. Television screens will be erected in selected locations for spectators to follow the actions that will be beamed by local host broadcaster TV station.
The ICT man said the fibre optic server’s location at the expansive Flamingo Flower farm is at an ideal location.
“It is 12km from the Service Park and linked with a similar line along Nairobi/Naivasha highway. The speed of 3 terabytes per seconds is enough for television live broadcast and thousands of hand held gadgets which will be used by the spectators," said Kimathi, adding that it is also closer to Hells gate National Park where the rally will end on June 25.
Hells Gate stage will also serve as the Wolf Power Stage, usually the climax of every World Rally Championship (WRC) where the fastest driver is awarded five bonus points.
Stable internet at the Service Park to serve the International Media Centre and WRC Promoter TV suites will be established.
This service has been praised by the Promoter as “world standard”.
This confirmed the status of the Safari Rally as a showcase of Kenya's position as a leader in IT services in Africa, said Kimathi.
The Safari continues to evolve as a television friendly event in a clover leaf route concept that allows spectators to watch action at least twice in a single day at designated locations while the filming is done by the WRC Promoter on the ground and on helicopter.