KBR is to provide Wi-Fi at all eight stages of The 2015 Friends Life Tour of Britain cycle race. KBR will be providing free Wi-Fi access to the public at each of the eight finish lines and press areas during the tour, which runs from 6-13 September 2015.
KBR will also provide outdoor wireless networks at the Women’s Tour 2015, which gets underway in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on Wednesday 17 June 2015.
The firm provided the wireless network for last year’s tour when it used a Motorola Solutions’ Wi-Fi system. The same hardware is likely to be used for the Women’s Tour this year, but the firm said it was probable that a different vendor will be used for the Men’s Tour.
Cisco Meraki, Ruckus and Meru have apparently all shown an interest in working with KBR, but the firm said it is still in the process of evaluating the best overall solution from both a technology and commercial point-of-view.
The Gateshead-based firm, which specialises in providing wireless networks, has teamed up with event organisers SweetSpot Group, a well-known sporting event company, in a bid to get more people involved in cycling and to promote an active lifestyle.
Local fans of cycling will have a chance to see some of the World’s best riders in action with routes running though parts of the North East, including Blyth and Prudhoe, for the first time in Tour of Britain’s history. Thanks to KBR’s mobile Wi-Fi solution, spectators will have the power to connect live from the event, which is uncommon for outdoor events of its scale.
Managing director of KBR, Robin Price, commented: “We are delighted to be providing our services at such a prestigious event, especially one with a North East presence. Spectators at the finish line in Blyth will be able to take photos, login to their social media accounts, connect and share live updates with their friends. Because of our ability to provide such a service, we are indirectly encouraging people to get more involved in cycling.”
Gareth Tomlin, technical director of KBR, added: "Providing Wi-Fi to large scale public events such as the Tour of Britain is technically very challenging but our 30 years in the technology industry has provided us with the expertise to do this.”
Alastair Grant, commercial director of SweetSpot, said: “The Friends Life Tour of Britain has the biggest live attendance of any sporting event in the UK. We are proud to be working in partnership with KBR to provide a way for even more people to get involved in sport, and share the feelings and news of the day with a global audience. Creating a sense of excitement and engagement around a major national event like this is extremely important and with help from KBR we can do this.”
Last year’s Friends Tour of Britain, which KBR also provided Wi-Fi for, saw cycling champions Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel lead the strongest line up the race has ever see. This year will welcome the biggest names in cycling to the North East on Stages Four and Five.
Wednesday 9 September will see the race head south from Edinburgh, through Northumberland to the finish in Blyth, before the racing resumes with Stage Five a day later, heading from Prudhoe to Hartside Fell in Cumbria, via Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall.
Photo: Tour of Britain 2014 winner Dylan Van Baarle on the Brighton podium.