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Journey to the far side of the world

May 28, 2015

James Walker   

Managed network services line of business

When you provide global communications and enterprise IT services to 99.7% of the world’s GDP, you create some interesting stories along the way. Tata Communications’ global fibre-optic network allows our customers to reach and participate in nearly 100% of the world’s commerce. From providing connectivity to telepresence rooms in Lagos, to Formula 1® racing in the deserts of Bahrain, we help customers reach their audiences faster, expand into new territories, and drive better collaboration in some of the world’s most far-flung settings. How do we support our clients’ business in these exotic locations? I’ve worked with many of our customers as they go where their business and market needs take them, and there are some fascinating stories to tell.

In Brazil, we connect a major car manufacturer’s R&D facilities to those in China by video conference, helping them develop new car platforms 20% faster. And across the world, we are providing a mining company with connectivity for their global telepresence services—from Canada to Australia all the way to one facility on the plains of Mongolia.

Our journey also takes us 40,000 feet in the air—in fact, next time you’re waiting at the gate to board your next flight, take a look around and you’ll probably be benefiting from some of our work behind the scenes. For example, we provide connectivity for one of the world’s largest international airlines, operating nearly 3,400 flights per week to more than 142 cities in 78 countries across six continents. And in sub-Saharan Africa every day, Tata Communications supports the in-flight connectivity to the avionics that go into more than 40 aircraft of a major regional carrier, travelling between over 70 destinations. We even enable air traffic control communications, reservations and airport operations to ensure a safe and smooth landing when you reach your destination.

Nineteen destinations over nine months define the break-neck schedule of Formula 1 racing throughout the world. The start of this season marked the third year of Tata Communications’ partnership with F1, delivering the connectivity backbone to every Formula 1 race location and to hundreds of millions of fans online and on television over our global cable network, the largest in the world.

The Tata Communications support team travelled over 124,000 miles during the season, and setting up (and tearing down) the trackside data centre at each Formula 1 race location was no small feat. While Formula 1 operates mainly in major population centers, its technological challenges are plentiful, like weather concerns at the remote Seoul, Korea track affecting communications, unique connectivity demands at the new Abu Dhabi, Austin and Sochi tracks, delivering live 4K video, or carrying continuous, time-critical, live race data from 300 sensors on the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS car to the team’s factory in Brackley, England, reporting issues and helping the team improve speed, handling and stability – all in real-time during the race. Despite these challenges, Tata Communications deploys connectivity and our on-track network operations centre for F1 is up and running at each race in just three days, and completely dismantled three hours after the race finishes. In fact, we’re packing it up while the final race is still underway.

99.7%. That’s a mind-boggling number of stories to tell, and these are just a few that capture how Tata Communications is addressing our customers’ real needs with real solutions. We remain focused on advancing the state of the art in technology and service business solutions —no matter where that need might be.

Watch how Tata Communications delivered the first ever live 4K broadcast of a Formula 1 event over fibre.


Tata Communications was the Official Connectivity Provider of Formula 1® between 2012 and 2019. Tata Communications was also the Official Managed Connectivity Supplier to Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, and Official Digital Transformation Partner to ROKiT Williams Racing until the end of the 2019 season.