Batelco’s superfast 4G network ensured the delivery of action images from the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix thanks to a collaboration between Batelco and British sports photographic agency Sutton Images. Bahrain’s leading Integrated Communications Provider, Batelco, provided 4G LTE MiFi devices to Sutton Images, one of the world’s leading Formula One photography agencies, to enable them to deliver action photos to news agencies around the world as they happened during the race.
This unique initiative was used to great effect throughout the 2014 Grand Prix with the combination of Batelco and Sutton Images providing instant still images of significant moments during the race almost as fast as the click of a shutter. The most spectacular crash in recent Formula 1 history was one such example. When young Mexican Esteban Gutierrez in his Sauber was launched into a series of barrel roles by Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado in his Lotus, the images were broadcast globally within minutes.
Likewise, as Lewis Hamilton received the winner’s trophy from Bahrain’s Crown Prince, HRH Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the images of the Brit’s first win at BIC in Bahrain’s 10th Anniversary Grand Prix were on the desks of picture editors expectantly awaiting he images for the next morning’s newspapers.
Earlier in the year, Batelco and Sutton Images had been first in using the new technology in Formula 1 during the F1 testing at Bahrain International Circuit in February. The occasion provided the perfect opportunity to try out the new technology and it worked perfectly. The use of the system during the Grand Prix weekend in Bahrain ensured that yet again Bahrain and Batelco were at the forefront of innovation and technology, using mobile wireless internet devices to push the boundaries in sports coverage.
Batelco Group General Manager Media Relations, Ahmed Al Janahi, said, “Batelco was, delighted to provide 4G MiFi devices to Sutton Images for the testing and main event, as both occasions helped to shine the spotlight on Bahrain International Circuit.” “Batelco always strives to be first with innovation in its efforts to ensure that businesses and consumers in Bahrain have access to world leading communications. By being first, in this case first in the world, we helped to showcase the capabilities of our country as a key business hub regionally and internationally,” he added.
Sutton Images Mark Sutton was enthusiastic in his praise for the system saying: “Having the support of Batelco in this venture allowed him and his team to transmit pictures direct from trackside at the click of a button. The action images that were taken were on the news and picture editor’s desks within minutes.”
Explaining how the system works, he said, “Previously, we would have had to return to the Media Centre, download all the images from the camera, choose the required pictures and then send them. Using the Batelco devices we were able to complete the process standing beside the very track where we had taken the images moments earlier.”
Speaking of their experience during the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix Mr. Sutton continued to say: “There were a number of significant developments during the race, such as Esteban Gutierrez’ crash, that allowed us to have dramatic images away from the track immediately. This creates a tremendous advantage for our customers and allows the world’s media sitting in their offices many thousands of miles away, to take an instant decision on the pictures that they are going to use prior to the deadline for the next morning’s papers.”
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Batelco Public Relations Office
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