How Dimension Data Brings New Viewing Experience To Tour de France

Dimension Data is shifting one of its most visible projects into high gear this week as the official technology partner of the Tour de France.

Dimension Data is taking raw telemetry data collected by ASO and presenting it to the public in a way it has never been presented before. The project is the result of a five year contract signed in March with the Amaury Sport Organization.

"This is a great opportunity for Dimension Data to raise the profile of our business," said Adam Foster, group executive for the Communications Business Unit at Dimension Data.

Thanks to data collected by the ASO, Dimension Data is able to present the position and speed of every one of the riders in the race over all 2,088 miles they'll cover over the course of the grueling 21-day event. "We are referring to it as a revolutionary viewing experience," Foster said.

The information is available to spectators, commentators and all 22 teams throughout the race. Viewers are able to find where individual riders are located, how fast they are travelling, and how far they are from the person or group in front of them. The information is available instantaneously throughout the race, even in the most remote areas.

Of course some of the more isolated locations present challenges but Foster said, "It is about as fail-safe as it is going to get."

Radio transmitters mounted on the saddle of each bicycle by the ASO will transmit data via radio waves to receivers mounted in the cars and motorcycles already with the tour. The data will then go from the vehicles to a helicopter or plane flying over the race, which will then send the data to a mobile data center in the technology zones located around the race areas. These mobile tech zones will be utilizing bandwidth brought in by ASO partners to push the content from the data center to the cloud.

Because Dimension data has multiple cloud centers across the world, if traffic on the mobile websites should become overwhelming the company will be able to instantaneously replicate its services across up to 12 different cloud instances.

"We've got more than enough," Foster said.

However, Foster admits that due to the fact Dimension Data has only been working on this solution since they signed with ASO in March, "There is still a lot of unknown."