Broadcasters’ increasing reliance on wireless kit will contribute to unprecedented levels of demand for spectrum at this year’s Olympic games, according to Ofcom.
The communications regulator said wireless cameras and microphones, walkie-talkies, talkback systems, timing and scoring equipment and sports commentary systems will all contribute to a “unique logistical challenge never faced before by the UK”.
Ofcom estimates that up to 20,000 wireless frequencies will be used during the London games - more than double the number usually assigned in a year.
To cope with the demand that will be placed on the UK’s already strained wireless network Ofcom said it would borrow spectrum from public sector bodies such as the Ministry of Defence.
It also plans to make use of unused frequencies as well as spectrum that is freed up by the digital switchover.
Ofcom chief operating officer Jill Ainscough said: “The UK’s airwaves are already among the most intensively used in the world an the London 2012 Games will significantly increase demand.
“Ready and prepared for this challenge, Ofcom recognises that there is no room for complacency. We are working behind the scenes to make this capacity available, to ensure that this demand is met.”
In preparation, Ofcom has run tests at high profile events including the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton and the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The regulator said its team of radio engineers would be supplemented with experts from across Europe to “track down and deal with any cases of interference that do occur”.