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ERICSSON brings HD media experience to fans of Volvo Ocean Race

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ALICANTE, SPAIN – Innovative technology from Ericsson, official supplier of next generation IP Networks for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, is giving fans of sailing’s premier event unprecedented HD-quality video of the thrilling action on huge screens at the event’s race villages.

Tens of thousands in Spain, Cape Town and now Abu Dhabi have already enjoyed the fantastic service that brings the crowds closer to the dramatic action out at sea as well as offering high-speed mobile internet to visitors.

The technology will also be enriching the race village experience at forthcoming stopovers in Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajai (Brazil), Miami (United States), Lisbon (Portugal), Lorient (France) and Galway (Ireland).

"Ericsson is a long-time supporter of the 38-year-old Volvo Ocean Race and has also underlined its backing by unveiling a major new prize, the Ericsson Trophy for the best yacht design, which will be awarded to the design team at the finish in Galway in July."

Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, said: “Our strategy is to get our content closer to our broadening fan base and this wonderful Ericsson technology helps us do just that. During the last race, we and Ericsson started geo-tagging multimedia content long before anyone else did that. These days others have followed our example and it has become standard. Now it’s about what you can do in a race village and we and Ericsson are leading the way again.

“We are working with Ericsson to make sure the network in village is fast and efficient so we can spread information from race to shore, to big screens, to mobile handsets, and to online for those who are not in the race village. During our first three stopovers fans have told us how much they love the video on the screens,” he added.

Ericsson is providing the MINI-LINK PT microwave solution and service for the nine-month duration of the race which started in October last year.  MINI-LINK PT is a compact, high-capacity microwave solution with zero footprint and easy installation. It is highly flexible and can be used across water for boat-to-shore connectivity. It puts high-definition connectivity where it needs it to be, quickly and flexibly.

While Ericsson is providing the equipment and service, the race IT supplier Volvo IT is performing the installations at the 10 stopover cities.

Ericsson has a proud record of success in the Volvo Ocean Race. Ericsson 4 won the round-the-world contest in 2008-09.  The company no longer sponsors boats in the race but it continues the relationship with Volvo with this technology solution as well as by founding the Ericsson Trophy.

Helena Norrman, Head of Communications for Ericsson, said: “Volvo Ocean Race is a world class sporting event that engages the most skilled and innovative designers, builders, engineers, and sailors. Though we are no longer a contestant in the race, our company aims to be at the forefront of innovation across the globe every day so it makes sense to recognize innovation in a challenge that takes people literally around the world in vessels which are at the cutting edge of sailing design and technology.”