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Everything you need to know about 5G

5G is finally here. After months of intense build up, the fifth generation of mobile networks is starting to be rolled out, bringing with it promises of faster connectivity, more reliability and lower internet congestion. The 5G network follows previous generations of 2G, 3G and, most recently, 4G.

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the launch of the network, here are a few questions you might want answering before you take the 5G plunge.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile network connectivity. It is the successor to the current broadband connection, 4G, and will transform internet connectivity forever. 5G will make everything faster; data transfers, uploads speeds, download speeds, and will enable more stable connections with wider coverage. Not only will it be faster than ever before, it will be able to send more information between devices, meaning faster response times and a reduction in latency.

For users, 5G will do everything that 3G and 4G enabled you to do; browse, share, watch and stream, however it will also open up a whole new world of opportunities, including transformational growth with IoT, AR and AI capabilities. The hyper-connectivity that 5G brings between smart devices and machines will result in intelligent new processes that have never been possible before now.

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How fast is 5G?

5G is fast. Faster than fast. In fact, probably the only connotation that comes to mind when you hear 5G, is the word fast. It’s grabbing headlines due to its likely speeds expected to reach in excess of 1Gb/s and projected speeds for the future could see speeds of 10Gb/s, which is 100 times faster than 4G.

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To put into perspective how fast that actually is, currently your average HD film may take a day to download with 3G coverage and around 10 minutes on 4G. If on 5G, the same film will be downloaded is around 5 seconds. That’s a whole lot of film watching!

How does 5G work?

Alike to its predecessors, 5G will carry communications wirelessly over the air via radio frequencies. 5G uses an advanced radio frequency to transfer data faster and more efficiently. The radio frequencies are higher and shorter, meaning less congesting internet traffic and more available bandwidth for the information to be sent.

Although these higher bands are faster than previously seen, they are less well suited to carry information over long distances because of their shorter wavelengths. The frequency can also be blocked by physical objects such as building and trees, so you might see clusters of smaller masts closer together in order to boost capacity between single standalone masts.

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Before 5G, MIMO (multiple-input/multiple-output) technology was used to send and receive data signals between several antennas simultaneously. 5G upgrades this digital technology to Massive MIMO, meaning that rather than just a handful of antennas sharing information, now a few hundred will be. Algorithms for Massive MIMO are able to plot the best transmission route through the air to each user. For users, this means 5G can serve multiple users and multiple devices simultaneously, while still maintaining speed and consistency.

How is 5G different to 4G?

It’s a common misconception that 5G is just a faster version of 4G. Yes, it is faster than 4G and it is an improvement of 4G, but 5G isn’t just a step up from its forerunner, like 4G was to 3G. 5G will be the driving force for a digital revolution.

Each generation prior to 5G has brought its own benefits. 2G connectivity saw the birth of basic internet, texts and MMS. 3G upgraded to better internet, streaming and basic video calling. 4G was a game changer and made speeds up to 500 times faster than 3G, allowing for outside speeds to compete with home broadband. 4G brought high-quality video calling, supported HD TV on mobile, and super-fast mobile browsing. All of which were essential as the proliferation of smartphones and tablets evolved from what once came before.

5G is almost compulsory as the world now paves the way for a new era of technology and creates new economic opportunity; including IoT, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and autonomous machines. 5G has been referred to as “the network of networks”, and will be encoded into technologies ‘DNA’ for both business and in the home. Less interference and better efficiency that comes with 5G will support the introduction of smart cities, and a smart world.

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What will 5G enable us to do?

5G will enable us to do everything we do now, only faster, smarter and more efficiently. Day to day, 5G will allow for clearer calling with less background noise, while making and receiving calls and using data won’t interrupt download speeds, and there will be less pixelation and buffering when making video calls. Using 5G at home and out and about will keep you connected instantly, as it’s expected to be faster than most fixed line broadband.

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For consumers, imagine smart homes and smart work spaces. Alike to when you unlock your car with central locking, imagine unlocking your house without a physical key. Once inside, a smart home can have your lights already turned on and is already at your desired temperature. Moving from room to room will turn more lights on and switch off the rooms you’ve left. Currently, ownership of smart home devices, which are examples of IoT devices embedded with sensors and other electronics to send and receive data over a network, has doubled since 2016. A statistic which is likely to increase with the advantage of IoT.

How will 5G reduce latency?

One of the key differentiators between 5G and its predecessors is the reduction in latency. For those that are unaware of what latency is, it’s the time it takes devices to communicate wirelessly with each other; it’s the time taken for data to reach its destination via the network and back again (such as a text message from one phone to another and the sender receiving a Delivered notification). Whilst your device is transferring data, latency is the measure of delay, measured in milliseconds.

Online, latency is seen as responsiveness. For example, how long a web page takes to load. Latency occurs when the devices are on a slow network and the bandwidth capacity cannot support the large transfer of data being sent.

With the speeds, bandwidth, and capacity that 5G brings, these issues are now a thing of the past. 5G will increase the rate in which data can be transferred and cuts down the response time to 1-10 milliseconds (the time on 4G was 30-50 milliseconds). This means you can expect lightning fast connectivity and responsiveness, without any lag time. This will be imperative for mission critical services as they rely on network connectivity to transfer data.

What will 5G mean for businesses?       

For business, 5G will fuel the growth in certain industries by unlocking business potential. Expect to see automated factories, remote health care and autonomous vehicles. Expect faster downloads and better connectivity, and see a rise of IoT, AR and AI as 5G aims to power the rise.

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5G will change advance offerings from communication service providers; 4G rearranged the landscape with data packages outweighing voice and SMS, and now 5G will change the game again as providers can offer more cost-efficient services (10x lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G).

With 5G comes ‘network slicing’, where operators will be able to slice the 5G network to allocate capacity matching specific requirements. This is a game changer for network management and demonstrates the adaptiveness of 5G. Consumers downloading films, IoT devices transferring data and automonmous cars will each have different network requirements, the latter needing enough to enable responsiveness and little latency.

Businesses will be able to rent a 5G slice for their requirements, which will be an isolated network connection without any surrounding congestion.

5G and IoT

IoT in business has been gradually growing over the past few years, with businesses of all sizes seeing the benefits it can bring. With 5G this will only accelerate, as the new fifth generation network will help collect and transfer huge amounts of data in an efficient, responsive and high-speed way.

5G will set itself aside from previous networks in IoT, as current wireless infrastructure hasn’t got the capacity to accommodate the mass of devices exchanging information, without slight lags. 5G will provide the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data and will support the devices that demand internet access, as many require a higher bandwidth to cope.

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Has 5G already been rolled out?

Most countries can expect to have access to 5G by 2020, however some networks across the globe have already made 5G commercially available. In the UK, EE was the first network to make 5G available in 5 UK cites. Vodafone has also rolled out its 5G network in 7 UK cities. Both networks have plans to have more cities connected by the end of 2019. In the US, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint has all made 5G available in certain parts of the country.

Further afield, in South Korea, SK Telecom and KT have each rolled out 5G, along with Ooredoo in Qatar.

Does 5G mean the end of fixed line services?

5G is said to be as fast and as reliable as fixed line services, including home broadband, leading some to wonder whether ending fixed-line contracts is the best move. Many will still prefer the stability and certainty of physical wires, however good wireless connectivity becomes.

5G, as it continues to be rolled out, will aim to be a complementary service for users when out and about rather than a replacement to fixed line. This is likely as as many telecoms companies have spent years investing in fibre optic and copper wire fixed line broadband and would be reluctant to switch to wireless as soon as it’s available. Those wanting to ditch their fixed line should also consider the stability of the connection as full-fibre services will beat 5G as it stands, as it connects to the mobile mast without dropping signal strength when a bus or lorry becomes an obstacle to 5G waves.

It’s likely that domestic and office broadband will stick with being primarily fixed line for the upcoming years, although fixed wireless access may be made available when needed.

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 the clock counting down 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.

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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.

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‘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.