Events Newsletter - Spring 2019

Le Tour de France 2019

France and Belgium, 6th July – 28th July 2019

The annual, multi-stage cycling event is fast approaching; and with only two months to go until the peloton set off from the starting line, excitement for the event is building fiercely. Fans and riders alike are preparing for the Tour, with the latter itself looking at new ways to further engage fans with different routes and tougher biking conditions for the riders. Many general classification riders often choose to prepare for the event by having a one-week ‘pre-tour’ race in the 4-8 weeks prior to Tour’s annual inauguration.

This year, the 21 stage route will consist of 7 flat, 5 hilly and 7 mountain stages with an individual time-trial, a team trial and 2 rest days across 3 regions of Belgium and 37 parts of France. The 2019 Tour will commence in Belgium on the 6th July, to honour 5-time winner Eddy Merckx’s first victory in the race. Having first won the Tour in 1969, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Belgian’s first win, marking Belgium as a fitting host to begin this year’s race.

Cellhire is once again proud to be supplying mobile solutions to attendees to the event, with the help of its long-standing partnership with Orange France. The event is set to be a milestone as the entire 2019 Tour will celebrate a centenary of the Maillot Jaune; the Yellow Jersey, signifying the most important general classification, and the overall winner of the Tour de France.

Events Newsletter - Spring 2019

Lima 2019 Pan American Games

Peru, 26th July – 11th August 2019

Held every 4 years, the year before the Summer Olympic Games, the Pan American Games first began in 1951, when Latin American representatives suggested that a competition be created among all the countries in the Americas. The first edition of the games was held in Argentina, and over the years, the events have been hosted numerous times in Canada, Mexico and Brazil. This year, the games will be held in Lima, Peru for the first time.

Since beginning, the Games have increased in popularity for both athletes, and spectators; with 6680 athletes, 2672 technical officials and 62 disciplines in 39 sports expected for the 2019 Games. Announced in January 2019, there will also now be a Junior Pan American Games for young athletes, under the age of 21, commencing in 2021.

To build excitement for this year’s edition of the games, 2 times world record holder and 20 times Olympic Gold Medal Champion, Usain Bolt, visited the Videna New Athletics Stadium, which will host the athletics competition of the Pan Am games. Whilst there, Bolt placed his hands in cement to create a hand-printed commemorative plaque for the Games. The plaque will be proudly displayed during the Games events for attendees to snap a picture with to memorialise their visit.

The 2019 Pan American Games will act as a qualifier for athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, both of which, Cellhire is ready and waiting to provide attendees unparalleled, fast and outstanding coverage on bespoke, short-term tariffs.

Events Newsletter - Spring 2019

Rugby World Cup 2019

Japan, 20th September – 2nd November

As a country that effortlessly combines its ancient cultural heritage with modern and technological architecture, Japan is gearing up to host not just one, but two, of the biggest and most anticipated sporting events in the world, in short succession.

The Rugby World Cup is the world’s third largest sporting event, behind the Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, and in September 2019, the tournament is making its way to Asia for the very first time. To prepare for the event, Japan is pulling out all the stops as it strives to overwhelm fans with excitement, and establish itself as a key contender within the traditional heartland of sport.

Hosting the event will be a momentous step for Asia, and a huge stride towards growing the sport within the region. With its established popularity marginally westernised, being hosted in Japan will be a real driving force for the sport within the region and will help inaugurate a lasting legacy for Japan to be proud of in future years.

Japan creates local advocates

On September 19th 2015, in the 3rd minute of injury time, Japan defeated South Africa in the Rugby World Cup, rapturing Japan and boosting the profile of the sport within the country. After the victory, Japan celebrated the win and demonstrated its admiration to the fullback and goal kicker, Goromaru as his distinct prayer-style kicking stance became the emblem of Japan. Something that was only heightened by the gold statue the player received as recognition. 2015 saw Rugby soar to new levels within Japan and left the locals in awe. This is the feeling Japan only wants to heighten again in the build up to its hosting of the 2019 tournament.

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Determined to encourage locals into advocates of the sport, Japan has rolled out a nationwide ‘Matsuri Celebration’ under the Rugby Matsuri Project 2019. Matsuri (まつり) directly translates to ‘festival’ in Japanese, and the celebration is set to see rugby themed events taking place across the country. Choosing to instil a nationwide festival feeling into the Japanese locals is working as a great medium to get them excited about rugby and the events; which will have to be approved and certified by receiving an official logo/event mark as an official Rugby Matsuri 2019 event. The events themselves are not only intended to get locals impassioned, but will also strongly promote the Japanese culture to the rest of the world.

Japan is likewise pushing the sport towards more niche markets; overly campaigning the sport within the region has attracted more than 200,000 children to play rugby in Japan alone, and the Rugby World Cup Tournament itself is set to introduce young people to the sport in record numbers; with the goal to attract and retain one million new players.

IMG_8485Female fans have also been encouraged towards the sport by being introduced to the Japanese players, being able to ask questions and take photos with.

Companies within Japan are also advocating the Rugby fever, with Tour Companies expecting a record number of first time visitors to Japan. As part of their tour, visitors can call off at the Rugby shrine, that is set within the grounds of the Shimogamo Shrine, a heritage site in Japan. Attendees can get in the spirit of Japan by ringing the rugby ball shaped bell as well as writing prayers on rugby ball shaped tablets to add to the shrine wall, praying for their chosen team in the events.

A swarm of fans

Japan is set to attract the largest number of foreign fans in the tournament’s history; with over 600,000 of the 1.8 million tickets available expected to be held by international fans descending on Japan. This beats the 2015 edition of the tournament that saw 460,000 overseas fans. The 2015 Rugby World Cup has since been regarded as the biggest and best yet of the tournament and it is this record that Japan is determined to beat. English fans alone are expected to make of 23.9% of foreign visitors, followed by Australia that is expected to make up 15.6%.

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Demand for tickets to the tournament is exceeding expectations exponentially, with this year’s tournament on track to be the most widely-viewed, most digitally engaged and most socially and economically impactful Rugby event of all time. With a compelling series of November and Six Nation test matches having already taken place, the Rugby World Cup tournament is capturing the hearts and minds of fans alike both within Japan and around the world. This is complementary of World Rugby’s view that the 2019 tournament will be the most competitive to date, especially with several teams in the mix to claim the winning title.

Who’s bringing home the win?

With New Zealand having won both the 2011 and 2015 tournament, they are rightly the favourites to take home the trophy for 2019. The All Blacks are opposed by other top favourites; the Wallabies, the Eagles, the Red and Whites, the Springboks, the Dragons, and of course, the Brave Blossoms.

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Joining the teams on the field is ‘SIRIUS’, the seventh generation of the official Rugby World Cup Match Ball, supplied by Gilbert. Taking its moniker from the seventh closest, and brightest star to Earth, the ball symbolises the competing teams from both hemispheres, in which the star itself is clearly visible.

Cellhire is scoring big

Having had a presence in Japan since 2005, Cellhire has strong network partnerships with official tournament supplier, NTT Docomo and local network SoftBank, to offer exclusive rates for attendees of the event.

Japan RWCPromising outstanding coverage across all parts of Japan, specifically in the 12 host venues, Cellhire is expecting to exceed all expectations, most notable for on-ground support and next-day delivery in the nation, which will be covered by the local Japanese office.

As always, Cellhire will be providing high-speed data connections and reliable, low cost calling along with SIMs, smartphones and portable, highly secure WiFi devices. Ensuring the 2019 Rugby World Cup runs as smoothly as possible, the event is a great test-run for both Japan and Cellhire ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Events Newsletter - Spring 2019

IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2019

Qatar, 28th September – 6th October 2019

The 17th edition of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics will be hosted in Doha later this year. It becomes the first city in the Middle East to host an athletics premier showcase event after two other cities applied to organise the Championships in 2019; Barcelona, Spain and Eugene, USA.

Since being selected to host the event, Doha has been busy preparing itself for the plethora of people due to enter its borders over the next few years. Most notably the biggest action taken is the renovation of the Khalifa International Stadium; one of Qatar’s most iconic sporting venues and the infamous heart of sport in the country, and within Asia as a whole.

IMG_4768The stadium will not only be host to the World Athletics Championships in 2019, but will be the host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. As well as a state-of-the-art advanced air conditioning unit, the stadium capacity has increased to 48,000, thanks to the additional 12,000 seats added, ready for the 40,000 people expected for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

To build excitement for the event, and to celebrate its first time hosting the World Championships in Athletics, Doha has rolled out a number of nationwide competitions to encourage and engage in a bid to increase the nation’s sense of patriotism.

Heritage Plaque

A public competition was held to design the IAAF World Athletics Heritage Plaque, and on 29th March 2019, Brazilian recreational runner, Fernando Silva was announced the winner. He wins a trip for two to the Championships as the prize.

Qatar PlaqueThe oval design of the plaque represents the ‘global’ sport of athletics and the gold colour chosen for the ring itself represents ‘excellence’. The 6 bright colours complementing the gold, stand for the ‘universality’ of athletics, as represented by its 6 continental areas and 6 core event groups (sprints, hurdles & relays; middle/long distance; combined events; jumping; throwing; ‘out of stadium – cross country, mountain, road, trial and ultra-running and race walking.)

Mascot Design

On Qatar’s National Sports Day in February, an annual public holiday, the winning design of the mascot for the World Athletics Championships was unveiled. ‘Falah’, an athletic falcon sporting attire in the Qatari flag colours was the final result following a nationwide competition that saw 21 sketches submitted from Qatari residents. Young ambassadors aged 8-16 were invited to vote on the mascot sketches, where they narrowed the designs down to 8.

Falah

‘Falah’ was ultimately chosen to symbolise the pursuit of excellence, to demonstrate the flying into new horizons without boundaries, and to embody the attitude Doha has towards hosting the Championships. Doha is said to want to showcase the sport of Athletics to new audiences across the globe by engaging younger athletes and encouraging more fans to descend into Doha, as they connect people together through Falah to celebrate their first time hosting this monumental event.

Special invitees to the unveiling event; 490 children from a range of schools across Doha, celebrated the announcement by taking part in a series of sports related activities coordinated by the IAAF. These activities were implemented though the Qatar Athletics Federation along with Tsukuba University, who are part of the Tokyo 2020 legacy programme, Sports For Tomorrow.

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Cellhire Chief Operating Officer, Tim Taylor, has been busy preparing for the event; by travelling to Doha to meet with the leading Qatari networks to discuss partnerships. These partnerships will be pivotal to Cellhire when looking to provide connectivity for the event, as the cost-effective, local solutions will save travellers on high data roaming costs and will increase greater network coverage in more areas. Ultimately, with 205 competing countries, 3,500 athletes, 10,000 expected international guests, 30,000 spectators and 2,000 personnel, Cellhire expects to be one of the main providers of mobile connectivity for those wanting to stay connected in Qatar.

UK News

Cellhire appoints James Kellock to new position of UK Channel Manager to strengthen position as leading telecom reseller.

Global mobile telecoms provider Cellhire is delighted to have appointed James Kellock to the new position of UK Channel Manager, responsible for the growth and development of key strategic partnerships within the UK telecoms reseller industry. James joins Cellhire reporting into the UK Managing Director Matt Bennett.

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With 10 years’ extensive experience in the UK telecoms reseller industry, James has previously held similar roles at Vodafone and O2, where he focussed on the management and growth of key reseller partner relationships. As UK Channel Manager, James will help build company identity, market new products and support the overall journey for the Cellhire channel customer base.

On joining Cellhire, James said “I am looking forward to increasing Cellhire’s existing partner base to cement the position the company already has as a key provider to the channel.

“With its industry leading billing engine, bespoke tariff capabilities and wide range of offerings on Vodafone, O2 and EE, Cellhire has a unique proposition that enables resellers to have direct ownership of the customer. None of our competitors have a proposition like it.

“As a direct wholesale partner for the top three UK MNOs, we are strongly positioned to offer competitive, flexible solutions. Cellhire’s capabilities, including the billing engine and bespoke tariffs on all three of these MNOs, exceed industry expectations in the reseller channel and I’m looking forward to leveraging them to strengthen our service, with an additional focus on competitive pricing to help them compete. Cellhire also has an exceptional partner portal, which employs API access to give partners full management and cost control.

“I’ve hit the ground running to implement a number of projects and create new propositions that will complement our already strong portfolio.”

Matt Bennett, the UK Managing Director at Cellhire said “James’ background in telecom partnerships will be a real aid when reaching out to new potential partners. His appointment is a fantastic complement to our existing bespoke international solutions, where we have established expert status, particularly in flexible data offers. Cellhire is dedicated to the services it provides and the addition of James demonstrates further the lengths Cellhire will go to attract the right reseller partner.

“Cellhire would like to extend a warm welcome to James, and looks forward to working with him as he focuses on continually growing and improving reseller partnerships and existing reseller services and offerings.”

About Cellhire

Cellhire, a leading global service provider of mobile communications, offers an easy way for businesses to stay connected when travelling around the world.

Established in 1987, the Group has offices in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. Partnering with network operators globally, Cellhire provides short and long term mobile communication services to leading companies worldwide.

The company is committed to delivering the highest standards of customer service which is underlined by its continued attainment of ISO 9001:2015, the internationally recognised quality standard. Cellhire is Investors in People (IIP) certified and won the highly coveted Queen’s Award for International Enterprise, as a result of its success as a specialist in the delivery of mobile communication solutions for events around the world.

Hints & Tips, Travel, UK News, US News

Cellhire set to be major service provider to attendees visiting Japan in 2019/2020

Japan is set to host two of the biggest sporting events in the world over the next couple of years; the Rugby World Cup is fast approaching in September and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics is closely behind. These events are set to be huge for Japan, expecting to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors and many more watching from across the world. The last Olympic Games attracted over 3.6 billion viewers worldwide, and the sheer sense of patriotism that comes accompanied with the games, is only expected to grow from each competing country.

This will be the first time Asia has hosted the Rugby World Cup tournament and Japan hasn’t hosted the Olympics since the 1998 Winter Games. Expecting huge numbers, Cellhire is ready and waiting for the excess of visitors, thanks to its Japanese office, which is preparing to provide visitors with local, in-country mobile connectivity whilst in Japan, in the forms of airtime, devices, SIMs and mobile hotspots.

Crowd of People Crossing Street in Tokyo, JapanCellhire already has an excellent global track record in the sports and entertainment fields, proven by having provided tens of thousands of connections at major events through the close relationships with network providers around the world.

Experts in the field of worldwide connectivity, Cellhire is also an expert in the Japan region, having provided thousands of non-event business and consumer products and solutions since its opening nearly 15 years ago.

Similarly to previous worldwide events, Cellhire has teamed up with local networks to offer attendees unparalleled, fast and outstanding coverage across the whole of Japan, including host venues and the travel between them. As the latest addition to the over 50 network partnerships Cellhire already maintains, local networks NTT DOCOMO and SoftBank are set to offer inclusive rates for both data crunchers and voice users.

With only a few months to go until the Rugby World Cup begins, event organisers warn demand for official travel and hospitality packages is already exceeding expectations. Cellhire advises fans to plan ahead and save on voice and data costs when in Japan by ordering prior to travel.

Japanese pagodaWith offices in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Switzerland and Japan, attendees, including TV and radio broadcasters, from all over the world can receive SIM cards, smartphones, mobile hotspots and other value-added telecoms and services ahead of time. The Japan office is also on hand, post departure, with local, on-ground support throughout the events, next day delivery in parts of Japan and online support, which will guarantee excellent customer response times and help minimise potential “bill-shock”.

Cellhire is a leading mobile telecoms supplier at global events and has previously provided connectivity to its clients at events including the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon, Tour de France, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Paralympics and the UEFA Euro Finals.

Hints & Tips, Travel

Using your phone in China: A precautionary guide

In wake of recent months and controversies surrounding privacy breaches abroad, those with planned trips to places such as China are rightly slightly hesitant. On January 3rd 2019, the US State Department issued a Level 2 Travel Advisory for traveling to China. This means those entering China should Exercise Increased Caution, due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws.

In exercising increased caution, travelers should extend diligence to the use of mobile and tech devices when entering the country. Cellhire previously published a blog on Why Phone Security Matters Abroad, but the rumor-mill has suggested those travelling to China are highly at risk of being monitored. Here are precautions you should be taking to avoid potential risks.

  1. Leave your devices at home

There have been stories of devices being confiscated and tampered with while going through customs in a range of countries, but if you’re worried about possible infringement on your privacy and data, it may be a better option to leave your devices at home. Understandably, this may be easier for those travelling to China for leisure rather than for business. Business travelers partaking in business events and meetings in China are in need of a device to some extent so have no choice other than to take something with them. In this case, don’t worry, there are other precautions to take.

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  1. Prepare your devices for travel

If you’re taking devices to China, make sure you’ve ‘prepared’ them. Remember your devices contain valuable data, information and in some case, intellectual property. The last thing you want is spying eyes getting a hold of your information. When traveling, all this stored data becomes vulnerable, so ‘preparing’ your device for the worst is imperative. Update the operating system to the latest version; this will help fill in those potential security gaps that could be hacked. Also, ensure your Bluetooth is turned off whilst travelling. This, again, eliminates possible eavesdropping entries.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, safeguard your devices with a complex password / PIN that can’t be easily guessed or hacked. For extra protection, put a 2-factor authentication on anything that lets you.

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  1. Cleanse your devices

If adding a password to your devices isn’t enough to put you at ease, try cleansing your device of all unnecessary data you don’t need while traveling. Move all your data over to an external source that you can leave at home while you travel. It’s better to always travel with a ‘blank’ device, so there is nothing to lose once you enter China. You should also cleanse and wipe your device upon re-entering your home country, in case any of your devices have been compromised while out of the country.

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  1. Use a rented device / SIM

The best solution for those traveling to a country in which they need to exercise caution, is to travel with a rented device / SIM. If you’re hesitant to take your own device out of fear or losing your data, take a device that is blank and will allow peace of mind. Get a device that is already set up to work in-country, with a local SIM card. This will not only keep your personal device safe, but will also allow you to browse online, call and text for the best possible rate. If this is something you opt for, purchase these before traveling. If you purchase a device in the country you travel to, like the airport, not only are you risking having an already compromised device / SIM, but you are also likely to spend more than it’s worth. As an alternative, Cellhire can offer both in country SIMs and devices depending on your needs and requirements. Cellhire was the recommended alternative to taking personal devices on a recent segment of Bloomberg’s Daybreak Asia, as advised by the VP of Park Strategies.

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  1. Use a VPN

It’s well known that some countries block access to specific sites; China especially. Say goodbye to Gmail, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia etc, because it’s likely you won’t be able to access them. To avoid this, you can use a VPN to create your own private internet connection that only you can access. This is definitely a must if you’re away for business and need to access your company information or intranet, especially as China is renowned for controversies surrounding monitoring internet traffic and blocking.

Be warned however, as of 2018, China is cracking down on the use of VPNs. Those who wish to use a VPN should look at several options, in case their primary option is blocked. TechRadar has recently produced a helpful article reviewing the top VPNs to use when traveling to China.

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